Simcoe Peer Support, new location and renewal

 In Community, Uncategorised

Simcoe Peer Support for Mental Health and Addictions has moved to a new location to better serve the community in its mission to promote wellness and recovery through peer-support, advocacy, and self-help.

Simcoe Peer Support for Mental Health and Addictions, is a self-help peer support and resource centre for people who have or are experiencing mental health and addiction issues, including substance and alcohol abuse.

Like many community organization, Simcoe Peer Support for Mental Health and Addictions is rebuilding after feeling the impact of the pandemic, which resulted in a temporary move to online programming. Simcoe Peer Support is now welcoming new and returning members to its new location at 100 Pretty River Parkway North, which boasts a bright and comfortable space with a meeting room, craft area and kitchen.

The facility serves as a drop-in centre and community hub for anyone 16 and older experiencing issues with mental health and/or substance and alcohol abuse – two issues that almost always go hand-in- hand. Services are confidential and are offered at no cost to the user.

“The opening of our new centre represents a renewal of our ongoing commitment to provide assistance to those suffering from mental health and/or addiction issues in the Simcoe area. We are delighted with the new premises and have had very positive feedback from members in this regard as well,” said board chair Richard Schubert.

The foundation of the program, which is designed to support and enhance the existing services within the Mental Health System, is “Peers Supporting Peers.”

“Staff lives with mental health and addiction themselves so they understand on some level what our members are living with,” said executive director Shawna Johnson. “Because of the stigma that’s associated with mental health and addiction, some people don’t feel worthy of doing fun things.”

Staff works to combat the stigma through activities and outings, fostering friendships between members who can understand what the others are going through. She said the goal is to create a comfortable, homey atmosphere that doesn’t feel clinical.

The program is unique in that no referral is needed, there is no wait list, and no restrictions on length of use.

To support people on their journey to recovery, members are encouraged to take advantage of the workshops that build life skills, including self-esteem, anger management, problem solving, boundaries and self-care. With regular visits to the centre, participation in group sessions and workshops, staff has seen members achieve the stability and confidence to achieve their life goals.

The organization was established in 1994 and serves all of North Simcoe Muskoka, although it regularly sees engagement from residents in and around the areas surrounding Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Stayner, and Creemore.

Simcoe Peer Support for Mental Health and Addictions welcomes direct donations and collaboration with fundraising partners.

Simcoe Peer Support is holding an open house on at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30. The facility, located at 100 Pretty River Parkway North in Collingwood, rear entrance off Albert St., will be open to the public for tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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