Peer support can be an important resource for mental wellness. Encompas will continually update this page with peer support telephone lines, online groups, in-person groups, and other peer resources for first responders and families.
What is Peer Support?
Peer Support differs from other forms of social support in that it can provide the opportunity for individuals with a shared experience to connect and provide knowledge, emotional, social, or practical help. It can take on several forms including peer mentoring, reflective listening, or counselling.
For First Responders, learning and speaking with those who have a shared similar experience can be a great initial resource when seeking help. Please find a variety of peer support groups and initiatives below.
Badge of Life
Badge of Life is a peer-led, charitable volunteer organization committed to supporting police and corrections personnel who are dealing with psychological injuries diagnosed from service. It provides a safe, confidential place where members in crisis and those seeking information can turn for immediate help and access to counselling and group support programs. During this time, Badge of Life Canada is offering virtual peer support meetings via Zoom Video Communications.
Boots on the Ground
Boots on the Ground is a non-profit organization with 150 volunteer active and retired First Responders. These volunteers provide confidential, caring, and compassionate peer support to other active and retired First Responders including Police, Fire, EMS and Corrections employees. This Peer support is available across Ontario and can be accessed 24/7.
Wings of Change
Wings of Change provides a peer support group for first responders, law enforcement personnel, communications officers, military members, healthcare providers, child protection, animal, funeral, correctional, and judicial service workers. The peer facilitated meetings are where individuals can participate in anonymous, solution-based discussion and education regarding any work-related trauma and mental health challenge.
Disclaimer: Neither the OPPA no Encompas are affiliated with the resources being provided. You are not obligated to access any of these resources as part of your involvement with the Encompas Program. These resources are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they have been chosen for their clinical relevance to improving the mental health and wellbeing of the Encompas membership and they are not intended to provide a diagnosis. The provision of these resources does not constitute an endorsement or an approval by OPPA or Encompas of any of the opinions of the provider and OPPA and Encompas bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of these resources, of the external site or of subsequent links.