Services

Please note that all of our services are virtual indefinitely. Our professionals are uniquely equipped to provide virtual services that emphasize connectedness and warmth in a way that feels natural. When creating this space together, clients are encouraged to join their session from a place of comfort that prioritizes things like fidgets/stimming tools, pets, accessible snacks, privacy, and any sensory needs.

Peer Support Services

Available February 22nd to April 26th, 2024

Beginning February 22nd until April 26th, 2024, Aroha’s social work practicum student, Grayson Moisan, will be offering virtual peer support counselling services.

These services are priced on a sliding scale ranging from $0 – $40 and rates will be determined in consultation with Grayson during your first session. No proof of income or need is required and we encourage anyone who would benefit from accessible peer support to schedule a session with Grayson through our online booking page.

What is Peer Support?

Peer support is a supportive relationship between people with common lived experiences. Your peer supporter can offer a genuine, compassionate, non-judgmental, and confidential space to share knowledge and experiences and gain emotional, social, and practical support.

Peer support’s non-hierarchical approach often means that the supporter is not a licensed therapist or counsellor and thus provides non-clinical support rooted in lived experience rather than formal psychotherapeutic frameworks. Even though peer support is not based on psychiatric models or diagnostic criteria, a peer supporter might offer some suggestions of how to navigate difficult emotions using strategies that derive from formal frameworks, such as mindfulness based practices or emotional regulation strategies.

While peer supporters do not always have relevant formal education, direct supervision, or belong to a regulatory body, Grayson Lamping is offering these services as part of his requirements for Bachelor of Social Work program at the University of Regina and is supervised by Emily Ritenburg, RSW (#4524 SK).

Who is Peer Support for?

Peer support relationships can feel uniquely authentic and non-hierarchical compared to those based in clinical patient-therapist settings. Someone who wants a dedicated space to talk with another person about their personal lived experiences, feelings, hopes, fears, problems or anxieties may find peer support helpful, especially for those who are apprehensive or distrustful in clinical settings, or have experienced trauma within mental health systems.

People of all backgrounds, histories, and walks of life are welcome to access peer support services. However, service users should keep in mind that the peer support program is only accessible until April 26th, 2024.

Does Peer Support Replace Counselling or Therapy?

This question can only be answered on a case-by-case basis. Some service users might find that peer support meets their emotional and mental health needs, while others may see more benefits from the skills of a professional therapist or counsellor. A peer supporter may recommend seeking additional support for aspects of your emotional health that require professional skills and can help to connect you with someone who meets your needs. In the case that professional services are not accessible to the service user, the peer supporter and service user can continue their peer support relationship while keeping in mind the limitations of peer support to address particular needs.

What’s Unique About Grayson’s Approach to Peer Support?

 

Neurodivergent, queer, and trans people can experience trauma and adversity while trying to navigate the world, and it can be difficult to find a mental health support that doesn’t pathologize, delegitimize or misunderstand the feelings associated with your lived experience. As an AuDHD, queer and trans man, Grayson has experienced many of the traumas associated with neurodivergence, queerness, transness, as well as lived experience navigating discriminatory or unsafe psychiatric care practices related to these identities. Some of the areas Grayson can provide peer support in are exploring and/or affirming gender & sexual identities, gender dysphoria, Level 1 Autism & ADHD (diagnosis not required), neurodivergence-based burnout, executive dysfunction, queer systems navigation, asexuality & aromanticism, queer sex and kink positivity, sexual trauma, body neutrality, social anxiety, C-PTSD, feelings of hopelessness, self-acceptance and self-compassion, unsupportive families, queer friendships and relationships, and more.

All peer support provided will be confidential. Any feedback or concerns about the peer support services provided are welcome and can be directed to Grayson, or if preferred, Grayson’s supervisor Emily Ritenburg, RSW, both of whom can be contacted via our website’s contact page.