Peer Support Groups – Fall 2023

What: GraceWins offers Peer Supporter-facilitated recovery oriented courses and support groups in small class sizes of up to 8 persons.

For Whom: Persons (18+) struggling with mental health challenges that are looking for a recovery oriented community, a compassionate, non-judgmental, empowering space in which to share, learn and grow. No referral or diagnosis required. Just a desire to move forward in one’s unique recovery journey.

When: October – December, 2023.

Where: Most groups are online on Google Meet. Some are in-person. Refer to specific group for more information.

Fees: None

To sign up: Connect


Group Facilitators

Dennis Seary

After many years of alcohol and drug abuse, homelessness and mental health challenges, Dennis now lives a life filled with joy and happiness. He began experimenting with drugs and alcohol at the age of eleven. An abusive parent and a school life that included bullying, Dennis’ early years saw him grow with a a sense of low self esteem. Later in life Dennis began to drink to harmful results. In his fifties Dennis began to deal with anxiety and depression and found himself homeless. It took years to realize a way out. After getting a great deal of help and support, Dennis found a role for himself and indeed found himself. He is now living his life and his faith to the fullest. Supporting and serving community help him realize his purpose. Spending time with family also gives him a great deal of strength and he looks forward to a bright, exciting future without limits.

Pamela Lewis

Compassionate and empathetic, Pamela has experienced and overcome significant trauma and life-transforming challenges. She is a mother of three children all of whom struggle with specific needs – autism, bipolar, anxiety, drug addiction and other medical ailments. Pamela is a qualified Personal Support Worker who tends to both, the physical and mental health needs of her clients. Her welcoming and friendly nature naturally draws people to her. Pamela finds joy and fulfillment in using her wealth of lived experiences and unique abilities to support others through their unique recovery journeys.

Percy D’Souza

GraceWins is an expression of Percy’s own life journey: from losing almost everything at the depths of his ‘dark nights of the soul’ which, among other things, included a diagnosis of ‘severe, treatment-resistant, psychotic depression’; to passionately living in the moment every day since, by grace, he was given a second chance at life in the spring of 2018. This is the core value Percy brings and realizes through GraceWins. He also brings a unique blend of skills earned through his diverse academic and professional experiences.

Abuse Peer Support Group for Women

The Abuse Peer Support Group for Women is a safe, supportive, non-judgmental space for women who have experienced or are experiencing abuse in whatever form it may be – physical, mental, emotional, sexual, financial…and so on. It is a place for you to be yourself in the company of others that can relate to you because they too have similarly struggled. The aim is to empower through compassion, sharing, learning and being.

Date: Mondays: Starts Monday, October 9, 2023: 10 weeks

Time: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Where: In-person:  Employment Resource Centre, Level 2, Midtown Mall, 200 John Street, Oshawa

Facilitators: Pamela Lewis

Addictions Peer Support Group

The Addictions Peer Support Group is a safe, non-judgmental, compassionate space to meet and engage with others that are struggling with a substance use addiction, whatever it may be – drugs, alcohol, nicotine…Facilitated by Peer Supporters who have struggled with and overcome their own addictions, you will engage, learn, share, support and be supported in your journey of harm reduction or overcoming addiction and realizing your unique potential.

Date: Mondays: Starts Monday, October 30, 2023: 10 weeks

Time: 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Where: Online:  Google Meet

Facilitators: Dennis Seary

Mental Health Peer Support Group

This is a group for those of us that struggle with mental health challenges to connect, share, support and learn from each other as we strive to move forward on our unique journeys to being our best selves. A safe, non-judgmental, respectful, compassionate, empowering space for us to be.

Date: Mondays: Starts Monday, October 30, 2023: 10 weeks

Time: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Where: Online: Google Meet

Facilitators: Dennis Seary, Percy D’Souza

Organizing Ourselves to Maximize Time

The goal of this course is to get students started on a life-long path to becoming more effective with how we use time. We examine and even challenge contemporary perceptions of time, explore what is truly important to us, understand the process of prioritizing and planning and importantly, learn to manage expectations of ourselves so that we realize contentment in this endeavour. This course is based on lessons that the facilitator, Percy D’Souza, has learned and applies every day through his own pursuit to maximize his potential; lessons from a variety of sources and particularly from two seminal works in personal improvement literature: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey and The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle.

Date: Wednesdays: Starts Wednesday, November 1, 2023: 6 weeks

Time: 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Where: Online: Google Meet

Facilitators: Percy D’Souza