Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions about what we do? We’re here to provide answers! Feel free to reach out to us with any inquiries you may have.

Peer Connections Manitoba, formerly known as the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society, is a charitable non-profit organization that connects individuals facing similar experiences and challenges, providing vital peer support since 2020. Through programs, workshops, and support groups, we foster a sense of belonging and empower individuals to share their stories, exchange knowledge, and offer emotional support. Since our establishment in 1978, we have been the pioneering organization to introduce value-based peer support in clinical settings. Our dedicated team of trained peer supporters plays a significant role in reducing isolation, promoting mental health, and encouraging personal growth and resilience. 

At Peer Connections, we pride ourselves on being a fully peer-led organization. This means that everyone, from our Board of Directors to our employees, has personal or family lived experience with mental health and substance use challenges. We are proud to be the first formalized and trained peer support team in Manitoba, providing assistance to individuals and families in select clinical environments while maintaining strong connections to community support. Our team undergoes rigorous training and certification, ensuring that we provide high-quality, value-based services as a formalized service provider. 

Peer support initiatives have a significant impact on a persons recovery journey. The relationship between peer supporters and individuals with mental health challenges improves their quality of life and reduces the need for hospitalization. These initiatives also connect families, enabling them to share their understanding of the mental health system and enhance their ability to care for their loved ones. Despite their effectiveness, peer support programs receive minimal funding, highlighting the need for increased support and investment in these valuable resources. 

Our peer support services and mental health education are provided free of charge. Connect with our community team to schedule a confidential peer support appointment through phone or email.  

 Explore the range of services and programs we offer:

If you are in crisis, please CLICK HERE for resources that can provide assistance for a list of crisis phone numbers. To access our community peer support, you can schedule an appointment by calling 204-786-1616 or join us every Monday for our DIPS (Drop-In Peer Support) service, available on a first-come, first-served basis in the afternoon. We are here to support you. 

 Explore the range of services and programs we offer.

PCM is NOT a crisis service, but we are here to help. If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911. If you are in crisis and seeking immediate support, please click here for resources that can provide assistance.

Our caring and experienced Family Peer Supporters are here to assist you. If you’re finding it challenging to support a loved one, reaching out to someone who has walked a similar path can make a world of difference. Schedule an appointment with a Family Peer Supporter by calling 204-786-1616. We’re here to lend a listening ear and provide the support you need.

No. A peer supporter differs from a therapist in several ways, and here are three key distinctions: 

  1. Lived Experience: Peer supporters have personal experience with the challenges and issues faced by those they support. They have walked a similar path and can offer empathy, understanding, and relatability based on their own lived experiences. This shared experience can create a unique connection and sense of camaraderie, as peers can truly relate to what individuals are going through.
  1. Non-Clinical Role: Peer supporters are not licensed therapists. They provide support from a non-clinical perspective and do not diagnose or provide formal treatment. Instead, they focus on active listening, offering emotional support, sharing coping strategies, and encouraging self-empowerment. Peer support is a peer-to-peer relationship that emphasizes mutual learning and growth.
  1. Informal and Voluntary Nature: Peer support is typically more informal and voluntary compared to therapy, which often involves structured sessions and a professional-client relationship. Peer support interactions can take place in various settings, such as support groups, drop-in sessions, or informal conversations. While therapy follows a more structured and regulated approach, peer support offers a flexible and non-hierarchical environment where individuals can engage at their comfort level.

It’s important to note that peer support and therapy can be complementary approaches, and individuals may benefit from both depending on their needs and preferences. Peer support provides unique strengths, primarily through shared experience, while therapy offers professional expertise and clinical interventions. 

We changed our name from the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society to Peer Connections Manitoba to better reflect our expanded range of services and the central role of peer support in our work. By adopting the name Peer Connections Manitoba, we want to address the stigma associated with mental illness and emphasize that our mandate extends beyond a single diagnosis. 

While our new name signifies our commitment to fostering connections among individuals with lived experience and promoting peer support, we remain dedicated to providing mental health education on topics such as psychosis and schizoaffective disorder to our community. Our goal is to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and promote understanding of these specific mental health conditions, while also offering support and resources to individuals facing various mental health challenges. Through our expanded services and the power of peer support, we strive to create an inclusive environment that supports the well-being and recovery of all individuals on their unique mental health journeys.

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If you have further questions, our team is more than happy to help you out with the answers you need.

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