Manitoba Government News Release–Nearly 1,500 Manitobans have accessed mental health services through Peer Connections, Manitoba’s peer support program that provides peer and family support services in Winnipeg and the Prairie Mountain Health region, Mental Health, Wellness and Recovery Minister Audrey Gordon announced today.
“Peer and family support workers with their own lived experiences provide support to Manitobans who need it,” said Gordon. “This program, in addition to the other mental health supports introduced since the start of COVID-19, builds on our government’s commitment to enhance access to mental health and addictions care for all Manitobans.”
Announced last spring, the peer support program, operated by Peer Connections Manitoba (formerly the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society), provides services at Winnipeg’s Crisis Response Centre and the Dauphin Regional Health Centre. The program offers services to all individuals and families, regardless of their mental health diagnosis.
Trained individual and family peer-support workers provide support to the two sites, using an evidence-based service and their own lived experiences to support the recovery of people struggling with mental health and addiction issues.
Staff work with clients and families from initial contact through ongoing support and post-discharge followup.
The minister noted this investment builds on other initiatives announced in the last year to enhance access to mental health and addiction care. The Manitoba government has previously announced 28 initiatives valued at more than $47.5-million to improve mental health and addictions services throughout the province.
The peer support program also meets a recommendation from the VIRGO report, which identified peer support in formal health-care settings as a short-term priority. For more information about the VIRGO report and Manitoba’s mental health and addictions strategy, visit www.gov.mb.ca/health/mha/strategy.html.
In addition to the peer support program and other mental health initiatives offered by the province, public health orders have been adjusted to allow for the operation of self-help groups for people dealing with addictions or other behaviours to hold meetings at reduced capacity.