Join in-person or online for the ImmUnity Canada National Conference on April 14–16, 2023 — Click here for more information.

Q

Peer Support Program

What is the Peer Support Program?

ImmUnity Canada’s Peer Support Program offers one-on-one support for people affected by primary immunodeficiency. We match participants with a trained peer support coach who understands the unique challenges of navigating a primary immunodeficiency diagnosis and being overwhelmed by the testing, treatment and life changes.

Sometimes it’s nice to hear and be heard by someone who understands and has shared experience.

Who can Peer Support help?

The Peer Support Program helps people who:

  • Have recently been diagnosed with a primary immunodeficiency.
  • Are a parent or partner of a PI patient.
  • Could use extra support with understanding and navigating PI.
  • Need to talk to someone with lived experience who can relate to their struggles.

Who are the peer support coaches?

ImmUnity Canada’s peer support coaches are trained volunteers from across the country. We have trained men and women who range in age from late 20s to late 70s, and more are trained each year. 

Often, a person who has benefited from the guidance and compassion of their peer support coach will later volunteer and train to offer the same support to others. It is a rewarding way to give back and help others in their time of need.

How does it work?

  1. We will work with you to create a profile to help us match you with a peer support coach.
  2. Your peer support coach will email you and set up a time to “meet” virtually. Depending on your preferences, it could be a phone call, e-chat, or virtual meeting. For the safety and security of our coaches and the program, coaches do not meet their peers in person. 
  3. At the end of your first meeting, your coach will arrange a follow-up meeting with you.
  4. Typically, coaches and peers will meet on average 2-3 times.

Where do I start?

David Josey is our Programs Manager and can help you get started. 

Send an email with information about yourself, your relationship to PI (patient, caregiver, etc.), the diagnosis, your region, and any other information that may be helpful. We will match you with one of our peer support coaches based on the information you provide and your preferences.

Contact David by email at david@immunitycanada.org.

How can I become a peer support coach?

We are always looking for compassionate volunteers, and we encourage you to connect with us if you think you would be a good peer support coach.

Training is free and takes place once per year. For more information and an application form, email david@immunitycanada.org.

The Peer Support Program is made possible by the ongoing support provided by Takeda Canada.

The Peer Support Program is modelled after the Immune Deficiency Foundation program of the same name. Many thanks to our friends at the IDF for the provision of the Peer Support Program.

We’re sick and tired, but we’re not alone.

ImmUnity Canada is a national charity with five provincial chapters across the country.

We empower Canadians impacted by immunodeficiency disorders to live well through education, support, advocacy, community-building, and research.

More Articles