YMHC Peer Support Volunteer Job Description
Be part of a dynamic team of volunteers committed to providing valuable peer support services to the YMHC community!
YMHC has two peer support services: the Compassionate Card service and the weekly Mental Health Chat. We are working on setting up a third service: the Daily Message of Support. Given the pandemic and reality of social distancing, our peer support services will be online services using Zoom for the Mental Health Chat and online systems and our greeting cards for the messages of support. When we are able to have in person meetings, we can look at other ways to increase peer support services in Toronto and in Hamilton and beyond.
- Facilitate peer support sessions (Mental Health Chat)
- Provide non-judgmental guidance and support.
- Refer YMHC community members to YMHC, government and community services if needed
- Plan innovative initiatives to benefit the health and wellness of the YMHC community.
- Promote all peer support services on social media platforms
- Create a database of positive, supportive messages to be used for the Daily Message of Support
- Extensive training in mental health related topics.
- Skill development through training and experiences.
- Connection to the YMHC community.
- Meeting other peer support and YMHC volunteers from across Canada and around the world with similar interests.
- Making meaningful contributions to the well-being of the YMHC community
- A keen and passionate interest in mental health.
- Lived, volunteer, or work experience with mental health issues.
- A desire to help others.
- The ability to be an empathic listener and sensitive to the needs of others.
- Dependability: You are your word!
- A professional and collaborative approach: represent YMHC well by following all YMHC policies and procedures
- Superb communication and interpersonal skills: follow-up and direct communication skills are essential!
- Ability to accept people for who they are and be able to provide supportive, non-judgmental service to others
- A thorough understanding of personal strengths and limitations.
- Motivated and wanting to inspire self and others.
- Ability to attend all YMHC training and meetings
- A full-year commitment of volunteering. (Time requirements can fluctuate but will average a minimum of 2 hours/week.)
Aptitude and Skills Needed
(1) Interpersonal Communication: As peer support services utilize written or verbal communication, a peer support volunteer requires strong interpersonal communication skills.
(2) Inclusivity: A volunteer must value inclusivity and foster an inclusive, safe environment that respects diversity in all its forms.
(3) High degree of empathy: Given the sensitive nature of the role and the intimate nature of the personal disclosures that may occur a Peer Support Centre Volunteer must be able to relate emotionally to the lived experiences of others.
(4) Adaptability: a Peer Support Centre Volunteer should be able to think quickly on their feet and adapt peer support messaging
(5) Sensitivity: a YMHC Peer Support volunteer requires the ability to apply the utmost attention to confidentiality.
(6) Positivity: a Peer Support Centre volunteer requires unmitigated positivity in order to effectively listen, affirm, and refer.
(7) Creativity: A volunteer should always offer an avenue to a potential solution, never losing hope that there is opportunity for situational improvement.
Youth Mental Health Canada is a grass roots, community-based, nonprofit organization focused on youth, family and educator engagement through mental health awareness, support, education and advocacy. We do not receive government funding and we have no paid staff. We use a sustainable model that focuses on mental health and wellness education through our educational materials, resources, tools and workshops.
All volunteers receive free membership with YMHC. Volunteers must read the YMHC Handbook and understand and comply with all policies and procedures.
YMHC is committed to youth mental health change. We have worked for many years to contribute to provincial and national change in education that has benefited students everywhere. We look forward to working with volunteers who are equally passionate about mental health change and determined to be the change that is needed.
Please include any relevant experience and questions you may have about the volunteer position.
For more information, please contact [email protected]. The Executive Director will arrange to speak to you on the phone to assess your interest and related qualifications.