A listing of Peer Support Groups across Canada. It is incumbent upon each person who reaches out to a peer group to determine if they are the right fit for their individual needs.

Empathy may be the key connecting factor – recognizing a person who has walked in their shoes.  Others will want specific groups for different people to build comfort and trust in each other before allowing new strangers in. Mixing police with civilians can be problematic as our experiences often vary largely on the trauma scale and it has been noted that those outside policing can become traumatized listening to police career experiences.

Looking to add your peer support group to our list?  Contact: info@badgeoflifecanada.org

Badge of Life Canada offers a weekly psychoeducational support meeting for first responder peers via Zoom Monday evenings 7-9pm ET

Canada Wide

Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS)

The Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada work in partnership to deliver Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS). Our services complement other mental health and family support services available from both departments.

  • At OSISS, we provide a national peer support network for Canadian Armed Forces members, Veterans and their families experiencing an operational stress injury (OSI). First responders may be included in the group dependant on the resources available in that area.
  • The OSISS network is coordinated by screened, trained peers who bring firsthand experience and practical knowledge of what it is like to struggle with an OSI or to live with someone with an OSI.
  • Within the program, confidentiality is paramount. Your identity and discussions with us are held in confidence, except in situations of imminent harm to a person, child abuse, or subpoena.
Why Peer Support?

If you or your family member have an OSI, the road to wellness can be hard to navigate. Peer support connects you with an understanding ear, a supportive community of people with similar experiences, help to set goals, and effective resources that can help.

Breaking down the stigma and providing social support has led many Canadian Armed Forces members, Veterans and their families to seek the help they need and change their lives for the better.

OSISS in Your Community

The OSISS network includes 63 personnel in more than 33 locations across Canada. Members of the OSISS team provide leadership, firsthand experience and practical knowledge of what life is like with an OSI.

To connect with your local OSISS Network:

Atlantic-Provinces

Quebec

Central-Provinces- Ontario & Manitoba

Western-Provinces

Wings of Change

All first responders, health care professionals, dispatchers, military members and corrections workers are welcome.

Join us for coffee and anonymous mental health solution based discussion.

We provide a safe and stigma free environment for anyone wishing to receive peer support with regards to occupational trauma and stress. You are welcome to share your views on related topics or simply sit back and be part of an understanding group of fellow peers.

Reminder - that a mental health diagnosis is NOT required to attend, and that we do not provide professional care. Crisis numbers will be provided at every meeting. We hope to see you there.

Alberta

Edmonton Police Service Veteran’s assistance Program

Our "In-person" Peer Support meetings have resumed, however, they are held at a different location. This new location has enabled us to have our meetings in accordance with the Alberta Guidelines regarding Covid-19.

If you wish to contact either member of our Peer Support group, they are available 24/7. Please call and/or e-mail them.

Please contact John or Chris for the address and instructions to the new location.

Chris Hayden - e-mail
1-780-913-4362 (Chris can be contacted at this number 24/7.)

John Rutledge - e-mail
1-780-819-5877 (John can be contacted at this number 24/7.)

British Columbia

The First Responders Cafe

Established January 2018 and provides confidential weekly support groups in several Northern Communities of B.C.

We welcome all First Responders who come together to share our experience, strength, and hope with each other. We are a non-profit registered under the societies act of British Columbia.

Governed by a Board of community minded citizens, and include a member of RCMP, EMS, Fire Services, Search and Rescue, Victim assistance Worker, two Medical Doctors with our president Human Resources Manager Hampton Lumber. Our Directors are concerned with the increase in number of suicides in our province. Smaller northern communities do not have the resources as larger centers.

For further information please contact Ron Blinn Project Coordinator.
Email: ronbren@telus.net

New Brunswick

RCMP Support for Operational Stress Injuries

Support. Connection. Resilience. Soutien. Connexion. Resilience.

Your conversations are kept confidential, respectful, and non-judgmental at all times.

J Div Coordinator - Jonah Emery, CPS
NB & Peer Support Accreditation Canada Certified Peer Support Specialist
Spécialiste certifié de soutien par les pairs
Call or text 613-407-8410
RCMP J Div SOSI Office
65 Regent Street
Fredericton, NB
RCMP Support for Operational Stress Injury (SOSI) / GRC Soutien blessures de stress opérationnel (SBSO)

Ontario

H.E.A.R.T. (Heart) Group

Toronto, Ontario

The H.E.A.R.T. (Heart) Group, a peer support group for police officers, for over twenty years, continues weekly. We have 2 groups every Wednesday, one from 10 am until noon and a second one on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm.

We continue to have group members from various police services including the O.P.P., the R.C.M.P., Hamilton, Peel, Toronto, York, etc. The only requirement is to be a sworn police officer – active, retired, suspended, on sick leave or any other category we haven’t seen yet. There is no cost for the group members thanks to the support of the Toronto Police Association.

Contact
Patricia Davies, BA, (Dipl.) AC, (cert.) OACCPP
Phone: 416 859 3579
Email: kirmit@sympatico.ca

The Phoenix P.T.S. Support Group

"First Responders Supporting First Responders through Operational Stress Injuries"

Every Thursday evening at 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
St. Stephen's Anglican Church
14946 Steeles Avenue East, Hornby, ON
(Halton Hills) between Winston Churchill Blvd and Trafalgar Rd

ALL first responders including dispatchers and nurses are welcome.

In Mythology A Phoenix experiences a Death & Rebirth. Many of the men and women in our sacred circle have been broken and had their hearts ripped out of their chests - they have suffered the death of their Spirit - together with our support we will be reborn and grow from the darkness towards the light.

Our group is singular and independent supporting first responders & falls under the Insurance of St. Stephen’s Anglican Church under programs and the umbrella of the Niagara Anglican Diocese.

Phone numbers and further contact information can be obtained by accessing the St. Stephen’s Anglican Church website below.

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan Peer Support Groups

We host peer support groups weekly for those experiencing OSI and PTSD at the locations listed below. For more information use the contact listed below for place and time of meeting in a city near you.

If there is no support group available near you, contact the provincial coordinator, Julius Brown at 1-888-495-6068, 306-525-5601 (Ext. 222), 306-552-3801 or email osi_ptsdcoord@cmhask.com

For those serving and retired Military and Community First Responders: You are welcome to join us for an informal, relaxed, confidential discussion about the obstacles we face on a daily basis. You are not alone. We are here to help, support and encourage you.