Peer counselling is a one-to-one service of emotional support, provided by specially trained volunteers who are supervised by professional staff.
The peer counsellors provide emotional support to seniors if they are experiencing:
• loneliness and isolation
• grief and loss
• housing transition or relocation
• health related challenges and aging concerns
• a need to connect to their community
• depression and anxiety
• isolation from friends and family
The volunteer counsellors support by:
Visiting seniors in their home, not judging, not advising, listening and helping seniors understand their issues in order to find coping skills and strategies.
JSA provides at least two of peer counselling training sessions per year, in order to maintain a certain number of counsellors working. Since our volunteers are seniors we lose a certain amount of trained volunteers through attrition, health problems, family problems or death. This is why the training programs have to be kept and many intensified, as the demand for our peer support counselling is growing daily. Prior to being admitted into a peer counselling training session,
Prospective volunteers are screened and must pass a Criminal Records Check. Upon successfully completing of intensive training the graduates receive a Peer Counselling Certificate. Peer counsellors are then matched with appropriate clients.
Counselling sessions are generally provided on a weekly basis. Peer counsellors receive ongoing educational training and volunteer/client support through our professional staff.