The core service that GraceWins offers is Mental Health and Addictions Peer Support. As Peer Supporters we ourselves have lived experience of the struggle and suffering of mental health challenges, either first-hand or as caregivers to mentally ill persons. We use this experience alongside our other resources – skills, strengths, career experiences, networks – to empathetically, compassionately walk alongside our clients, enabling them to move forward in their unique Recovery journeys to realize their full potential and live full, meaningful lives.
In-Person Peer Support
Virtual Peer Support
Very importantly, we offer our Peer Support services virtually – by Zoom and phone. Our virtual Peer Support service is central to our offering because it enables us to transcend geography; we are able to serve clients across Ontario, indeed across the country. It also enables us to serve clients at times that are outside of the typical working hours of other Peer Support services currently provided in the region. For example we offer our Peer Support service after 5:00 pm for clients that, say, work or attend college during the day. Our Virtual Peer Support services enable us to significantly increase our service reach.
Caregiver Peer Support
Caregivers play a crucially important and highly under-appreciated role in the lives of persons struggling with mental health challenges. As such we regard partnering with our Client’s caregivers as fundamental to being effective in our Peer Support services. To this end, with due consent of our clients, GraceWins provides Peer Support services to caregivers of our clients to enable them to be more effective in their role as caregivers. These services will be provided on a 1:1 basis and in group settings, in-person and virtually. While the initial focus of our Caregiver Peer Support services will be on caregivers of GraceWins’ clients, as we learn and develop greater capabilities in this service we will offer Caregiver Peer Support to caregivers of persons struggling with MH&A challenges in general.
No charge: Our Peer Support services to individuals and caregivers have no fee.
Organizational Peer Support
We offer Peer Support Consulting to small and medium-sized organizations – businesses, not-for-profit organizations, others. There is a massive need to raise awareness about the true and unnecessarily damaging costs of mental health stigma in the workplace – firstly the human costs and consequently the costs to the organization’s operations and bottom line. GraceWins enables such awareness and the setting up of Peer Support services within such organizations as an effective means of addressing mental health-related challenges in the workplace.
Mental Health Peer Supporter Training
We offer Peer Supporter Training to persons that are interested in serving as peer supporters and, who, we believe, possess the attributes to become highly effective peer supporters. The training has been developed and is delivered by GraceWins DreamTeam Lead Percy D’Souza, a Peer Support Canada certified peer supporter and community mental health advocate who has experience developing and delivering Peer Support Training for the Recovery College, CMHA Durham. The training is based on Peer2Peer, a widely respected European Commission-funded vocational training collaborative comprising eight organizations from across Europe. With Peer2Peer as the foundation we evolve the training as we grow in knowledge and experience from running this course, learning from our own peer support practice as well as from various other peer support learning sources.
The training is conducted in small groups of no more than 8 students to maximize the quality of learning. It comprises 13 -15 classes of an hour-and-a-half each. The training is offered for a fee of $300 + HST for persons and organizations that can afford to pay and at no charge or a ‘pay what you can’ charge for those who cannot afford the full fee.
Client Support System Integrated by Design
There are many factors that can contribute to the Recovery journey of a client through Mental Health and Addictions challenges. We recognize that we are just one of them. To maximize effectiveness we work with as many of our client’s support systems [family, friends, caregivers, other professional and community supports] as possible. Within the framework of Client Confidentiality and Privacy, we will proactively include the Client’s broader support system in our Peer Support service.