Peer Support Groups – Winter 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: January – March, 2023. Starting Monday, January 9

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

Jodie Saunders

Jodie finds her life’s purpose in supporting and showing great care and compassion to others. She is a grateful Peer and Housing Support Worker in her community of Oshawa. The individuals that she is blessed to work with are mostly homeless, addicted and marginalized. As someone who found freedom from a 25-year drug addiction and life-long mental health illness Jodie brings to GraceWins her lived-experience and a new found hope for the future. Her purpose at GraceWins is to be present as people move forward and realize their true potential, one step at a time.

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.

Tanya Brennan

Tanya is exceptional in her ability to connect with the most marginalized and vulnerable among us – the homeless, those struggling with addictions and mental illness. She works with them hands-on daily. Tanya’s exceptional ability has been hard won through her own lived experience with trauma, addictions, mental illness, loss and tragedy. She is hard worker who believes that everyone deserves chances in life. She brings boundless energy, empathy and loving support to those she works with, striving hard for their successes. Because their successes are her successes. 

Trisha Stapley

Trisha has always had a passion for helping others and has tried to incorporate this into every interaction/ job/ volunteer position she has found herself in.  At GraceWins Trisha hopes to use her life experience with trauma, mental health, and life navigation to walk with others looking to seek wellness.

Abuse Peer Support Group for Women

The abuse of women is way more prevalent than most of us realize. It happens in various forms – physical, mental, sexual, emotional, psychological, financial – across all strata of society. If you are a woman who has experienced or is experiencing abuse, this is a group you would do well to consider participating in. Facilitated by Peer Supporters who have lived experience of abuse, this group aims to empower through empathy, compassion and shared learning in a safe, non-judgemental space.

Date: Mondays: Starts Monday, January 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 space to meet and engage with others that are struggling with an addiction to whatever it may be – alcohol, drugs…in a safe, compassionate, non-judgmental, small group. Facilitated by Peer Supporters who have struggled with and overcome their own addictions, you will share, learn, support and be supported in your recovery journey forward.

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

Time: 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Where: Online:  Google Meet

Facilitators: Tanya Brennan, Chris Lockhart

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, January 9, 2023: 10 weeks

Time: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Where: Online: Google Meet

Facilitators: Percy D’Souza, Jodie Saunders

The Muse in Music

Music has a way of transcending time, space, backgrounds, cultures. It can stir up emotions, trigger memories, inspire, exhilarate and more. In this class we use our common love of music as a platform to engage, share, learn and grow. Maybe even be inspired. This is a light, easy class focused on making connections. We listen to songs suggested by participants and share whatever we want to. The music can be from any genre. The more diverse the better.

Date: Tuesdays: Starts Tuesday, January 10, 2023: 10 weeks

Time: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Where: Online: Google Meet

Facilitators: Trisha Stapley