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Peer Support Program

Caregiving can be emotionally, physically, and mentally demanding. If you feel anxious and overwhelmed by your caregiving responsibilities, you’re not alone.

Peer support provides emotional support and encouragement based on shared experiences.

Our 1:1 Peer Support Program offers a safe and non-judgemental space for caregivers to discuss their concerns and share their experiences with someone who understands.

The OCO offers two ways for caregivers to connect with peers for support, our 1:1 Peer Support Program and our Online Support Groups.

1:1 Peer Support 

  • The program matches you with a trained volunteer Peer Mentor to connect with through regular phone calls. Here’s how to get started. 

    1. Register

    Your registration will help us understand if the 1:1 Peer Support Program is the right fit for your needs. The Program Lead for Peer Support will reach out to you directly to guide you through the process. All program participants are required to sign a Confidentiality Pledge to ensure your conversations remain private and confidential.

    2. Select a Peer Mentor

    You will be given the opportunity to learn more about our available Peer Mentors and select who you would like to speak with.

    3. Connect

    Your volunteer Peer Mentor will reach out to you by phone to connect directly. In speaking with your Peer Mentor, you will have the opportunity to share your experiences, gain insight, and learn from someone who has been where you are.

Online support groups

  • Online support groups are driven by caregivers to discuss their most important issues. Each group is facilitated by a trained Peer Support Group Facilitator with experience as a current or former caregiver.

    All participants must sign a Confidentiality Pledge before joining an Online Support Group to ensure privacy and confidentiality. This will be sent to you after registration.

    Register Now

Additional Support for Families

  • OCO provides capacity building grants to caregivers needing support through Family Support Networks (FSNs) in Ontario- peer-based groups for family members and other unpaid caregivers who are supporting adults living with developmental disabilities. This program is funded by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS).

    Learn more about Capacity Building Grants
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Caregiver Katherine shares her experience caring for her son, and how an OCO peer mentor helped overcome feelings of isolation.

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Host Michelle Jobin is joined by Mieko Ise, Program Advisor for The Ontario Caregiver Organization, to talk about the realities of becoming a caregiver.

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What’s in this podcast:

Michelle Jobin is joined by Amy Coupal, the CEO of The Ontario Caregiver Organization, and Erica Ehm to discuss The Undercover Kindness Project.

I’m a caregiver

Peer Support Participant

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The 1:1 Peer Support Program Was an Amazing Experience  

“The peer mentor program and Elaine really helped me get through some tough times. Elaine was an excellent mentor and was very open to sharing her experience. She was supportive, a great listener and directed me to a few groups (Alzheimer’s society) which provided me with resources to help me through the journey. She was always available if I needed to talk or if I needed some help knowing where to go next.”

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Most of us, at some point in our lives, will be a caregiver to someone close to us. A caregiver provides physical and/or emotional support to a family member, partner, friend, or neighbour. Who do you care for?