P2P: Peer 2 Peer Support

Funding body: Health Canada Substance Use and Addictions Program

Background: Experiential Workers, i.e. peer workers with lived/living experience, are important service providers that play a crucial role in supporting individuals that use substances in overdose response situations. These situations are stressful, and can have lasting social, mental and emotional impacts for Experiential Workers. Unlike other healthcare providers and first responders, Experiential Workers often lack access to institutional or occupational mental health support.

The Peer2Peer (P2P) project aims to identify, implement and evaluate peer-led support interventions that would be valuable and effective for Experiential Workers. 

Progress to date: This funding for this project completed in March 2020. Eight focus groups (needs assessments) were led by Experiential Researchers in the lower mainland and Vancouver Island between November2018 and March 2019. Key themes were identified from which Experiential Researchers designed an intervention model - "ROSE"; R-Recognition, O-Organizational Support, S-Skill Development, and E-for Everyone. Components of this intervention will be implemented at pilot sites and knowledge sharing materials will be developed and made available for other organizations that hire Experiential Workers. Pre and post-implementation surveys were conducted to assess for improvement in perceptions of health and quality of life, and job satisfaction. A video featuring ‘a day in the life of a peer' was developed which highlights stories of experiential workers’ lived experience within communities that use substances.

See the full P2P website.

Researchers