Peer Support Training
The Wounded Warriors Canada peer support training program is designed to help first responders become confident, capable, well-informed peer supporters, with increased personal resiliency for the rigors of their frontline and peer support roles. The program is intended to benefit both seasoned peer supporters and novices who require a grounding in the fundamentals of peer support. We provide a combination of content-rich education about a variety of relevant topics as well as opportunities for experiential learning. Attendees will learn about concepts that will improve their ability to recognize and respond to signs of stress and trauma in self and others, and to manage the crucial transition between “home mode” and “responder mode.”
The Wounded Warriors Canada peer support program aims to provide an engaging and educational training experience, which will ultimately facilitate the growth of each individual and the teams they hail from. Both the educational and experiential components of the program bolster the emotional well-being of the peer supporters in attendance, and encourage the creation of bonds that can create ongoing mutual support. Our goal is to build a feeling of community and support among workshop participants.
Psychologists and peer support consultants collaborated on the development of the program, and work in tandem to conduct the training.
Psychologists involved in the training have extensive experience working with first responders, both as front-line clinicians and as peer support trainers.
Peer Support Consultants are individuals who come from first responder careers, who have an abundance of real-world peer support experience, as well as knowledge and understanding of the unique challenges facing peer support teams for first responder services.
PEER SUPPORT TRAINING PROGRAMS
PEER SUPPORT FUNDAMENTALS
CORE CONCEPTS FEATURED:
SUPPORTIVE COMMUNICATION: PRINCIPLES
UNDERSTANDING CHRONIC STRESS
NEUROBIOLOGY OF TRAUMA AND OPERATIONAL STRESS
PERSONAL RESILIENCY STRATEGIES FOR THE PEER SUPPORTER
RESPONDING TO SEVERE DISTRESS AND SUICIDALITY AS A PEER SUPPORTER
SUPPORTIVE COMMUNICATION: EXPERIENTIAL SKILLS PRACTICE
“BAD CALLS”/ CRITICAL INCIDENTS/ TRAUMATIC EVENTS
COMPASSION FATIGUE – “THE COST OF CARING”
GROUP DEBRIEFING SESSIONS
LINKING PEERS WITH PROFESSIONAL SUPPORTS
PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT TEAM
DR. NICOLE ETHIER, CLINICAL DIRECTOR
DR. SHANNON GIFFORD, CLINICAL DIRECTOR
Dr. Nicole Ethier and Dr. Shannon Gifford are two of the co-founders of Breakwater Institute for Occupational Stress and Trauma, a multidisciplinary clinic providing specialized mental health services to first responders and military members/ veterans.
In addition to providing frontline clinical support, Breakwater clinicians are involved in peer support training, personnel selection initiatives, clinical training for graduate students, consultation services with first responder agencies, and synergistic psychobiological treatment approaches for chronic operational stress and trauma (e.g., rTMS).
Drs. Ethier and Gifford both earned their Ph.D.s in clinical psychology from the University of Waterloo (UW), and are both long-serving clinical adjunct faculty members with the UW clinical psychology program.