• How do you get matched with a Peer Mentor?

    After registration, you will receive an e-mail follow up from the Peer Support Program Lead. We require all caregiver Participants to sign a Confidentiality Pledge, which ensures privacy and confidentiality in your conversations with your Peer Mentor. Once your registration form has been approved, you will receive log in information for your account on the 1:1 Peer Support Portal by email. Once logged in, you will be able to see our available Peer Mentors and make a selection. Browse the available Peer Mentors and select the one that fits what you are looking for. Once you have selected them, all you have to do is wait, as the Peer Mentor will contact you directly within the week to introduce themselves.

  • How does this program work?

    The 1:1 Peer Mentor program is meant to offer emotional support to caregivers. If you are interested in joining the program, please complete our registration process and choose a Peer Mentor from the list of available mentors to be partnered with. The Peer Mentor will contact you by phone to get to know each other and set up future calls. If you aren’t sure who to chose or which Peer Mentor would be a good fit, contact the Peer Support Program Lead for help.

  • Can I meet my Peer Mentor in person?

    For the privacy and safety of all, Peer Mentors and caregiver Participants will not meet in person. All meetings will be done over the phone, or if both participants are comfortable through a video chat.

  • What is my personal information used for?

    All of the personal information collected for this program is private and confidential. The Ontario Caregiver Organization uses this information to understand the types of caregivers using the program and to help caregiver Participants connect with the Peer Mentor that is right for them.  Your personal identifying information will not be shared with anyone outside of the OCO staff. Only your first name, phone number, and caregiving details will be shared with the Peer Mentor you select.

  • Is this program private and confidential?

    Yes. This program is intended to be fully confidential. Your personal information will not be shared with anyone aside from OCO and the volunteer Peer Mentor that you are matched with. Peer Mentors receive training on the importance of privacy and confidentiality and both parties involved in the match are required to sign a Confidentiality Pledge prior to the match beginning.

  • Who are the OCO Peer Mentors?

    Our OCO Peer Mentors are caregivers who have volunteered their time to provide support through the 1:1 Peer Support Program. They all go through a thorough screening process including an interview, reference checks, criminal reference check, review of OCO policies, and then have to complete training through OCO before they can act as a Peer Mentor for the program. Peer Mentors also receive ongoing supervision, training, and support from the Peer Support Program Lead.

  • How often will my Peer Mentor call me?

    We recommend Peer Mentors contact caregiver Participants as often as once per week, especially in the beginning of the program. Once you get to know each other better, you may decide to speak less frequently, if that works better for you.

  • How long will my match last?

    Matches can last up to six months, although not every match will go on for that long. When you feel you no longer need support and are ready to end your match, simply let your Peer Mentor know. If for any reason you do not want to let your Peer Mentor know, you can contact the Peer Support Program Lead. At the end of a match, we will also send a survey to evaluates the program and your experience so that we can continue to improve the support we offer.

  • What if I don’t find a Peer Mentor that fits my needs?

    We are always recruiting new Peer Mentors and do our best to recruit a diverse group of caregivers with a variety of caregiving experiences. You are welcome to sign up for the program and continue to check back with us to see if any new Peer Mentors have joined that are a good fit for your needs. You may also contact the Peer Support Program Lead at peersupport@ontariocaregiver.ca with any questions and they may be able to help you find a mentor that closely matches what you are looking for.

  • Can my Peer Mentor attend appointments or advocate on my behalf?

    The purpose of the 1:1 Peer Support Program is to provide emotional support. The Peer Mentors will not act as an advocate or in person support or provide any medical advice, but can offer a supportive ear and feedback based on their own lived experience.

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