1:1 Peer Support Program Volunteer - 1:1 Peer Support Program Volunteer

The MS Peer Support Program is a telephone and internet-based program for individuals living with MS, and for caregivers and loved ones of people with MS. Individuals living with MS, or providing care to someone with MS, may have a specific question or may just want to connect with someone who understands. Sometimes the best person to talk to is someone who has been there. Volunteers from across Canada are provided with extensive training to ensure they have the skills to best help those looking for support.

Volunteers for this program are individuals with multiple sclerosis (or an allied disease) or individuals who are (or have been) caregivers of someone living with MS (or an allied disease). Volunteers will be matched with someone looking for support (a ‘peer’) and the resulting one-to-one connection is called a ‘match.’

Volunteers in this program will:

  • Be 18 years of age of older
  • Be either:
    • diagnosed with MS or an allied disease for a minimum of two years OR
    • identify as a caregiver / loved one of someone living with MS or an allied disease
  • Be at a place in their own journey where they can provide support to others

The responsibilities of the volunteer include:

  • Develop a peer support relationship with a peer by engaging in regular contact and providing the following as needed: a) emotional support; b) referral and resource information; c) practical suggestions and coping skills
  • Maintain contact for 6 months (unless extenuating circumstances arise), and communicate by agreed-upon methods (phone, email, etc.) at mutually agreeable times
  • Refer issues that are beyond the parameters of the volunteer position back to the Coordinator, so that resources can be provided, and problems can be resolved
  • Keep relatively informed and maintain up-to-date on information about MS (or allied diseases) and MS Society programs and services 
  • Have knowledge of community resources (where applicable)
  • Maintain an ongoing professional relationship with the Coordinator, who is a resource for both the volunteer and the peer 
  • Be aware of limitations and maintain personal boundaries, and respect the boundaries of the peer receiving support
  • Complete all applicable training and forms, including a criminal background check
  • Comply with the MS Society’s policies, procedures and protocols
  • Track the approximate number of hours spent providing peer support per month, and follow up with the Coordinator on a monthly basis
  • Communicate urgent needs and issues immediately to the Coordinator
  • Agree to a one-year volunteer commitment once trained and matched with a peer

 

For more information or to apply to the Peer Support Program, please visit out website here.