Latest info August 2012

August 2012

Dear Colleagues,

Peer Support Accreditation and Certification (Canada) [PSACC] came to be as a result of the efforts of people with lived experience seeking to advance mental health peer support – a non clinical, recovery oriented approach to mental health that inspires hope and saves lives.

It was legally created in December 2011 as a logical outcome of the ground breaking work we accomplished together during the first two years of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) Peer Project. In May you received an update from the MHCC advising of a reorientation of this project. The update is posted on the Commission’s website and it informs that PSACC is separate and independent from the MHCC.

This first communiqué from PSACC is to touch base with you with a view to a continuing alliance in relation to the four key goals we set out to accomplish:

  • national standards of practice for peer support
  • national certification of peer support workers on a voluntary basis
  • evidence-based research data showing the efficacy of peer support
  • accreditation of training programs meeting the knowledge standard requirements

While there are challenges, PSACC is off to a promising start. Thus far it has received financial support from three different organizations to assist in doing its work. Also, as reported in the May update, the MHCC acknowledges PSACC’s leadership role in managing the evidence-based research study that is being undertaken with the collaboration of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the University of Ottawa, and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta Georgia.

There are three strategic areas that are top of mind in establishing PSACC – expanding and solidifying its governance structure; building capacity (funding, people and infrastructure); and, developing appropriate assessment tools in relation to the standards of practice. You can read about the work underway for the standards of practice in the section of the MHCC May update titled “Second peer leadership meeting held January 31 – February 1, 2012″.

At the latest, you can expect to hear from us again after the next peer support leadership team meeting that will take place this fall. Below you will find the list of regional peer support leaders representing your interests in relation to the work that is now being done by PSACC.

If you have any questions related to the content of this communiqué you can write to:

It is a privilege to work with you on this endeavour that is being led and driven by peer support workers across Canada. The journey we have embarked on together can only be successful with the continuing support and the growing engagement of the peer support community nationwide. It is my sincere hope we will be able to count on you as we go forward.

Best regards,

Stéphane Grenier
President, Peer Support Accreditation and Certification (Canada)


Nunavut – Jesse Unaapik Mike
North West Territories – To be determined
Yukon – Brian Eaton
Newfoundland & Labrador – Karon-Ann Parsons
Nova Scotia – Roy Muise
Prince Edward Island – To be determined
New Brunswick – Eugene LeBlanc
Québec – Frances Skerritt and Nathalie Lagueux
Ontario – Diana Capponi and Theresa Claxton
Manitoba – Chris Summerville
Saskatchewan – Darrell Downton
Alberta – Debbie Wiebe
British Columbia – Patrick Raymond and Debbie Sesula

For information about the selection process for the regional representatives, click here.


Ella Amir – Executive Director of AMI-Quebec Action on Mental Illness
Liz Atkins – Peer Support Coordinator, CMHA Edmonton
Shana Calixte – Executive Director of the Northern Initiative for Social Action
Andy Cox – Mental Health Advocate with the MHAP, IWK Health Centre
Annette Ducharme – Chair, Communications & PR Sub-Committee
Laurie Hall – SSAC Member, Mental Health Commission of Canada
Joan Edwards Karmazyn – Former National Executive Director of NNMH
Karen Liberman – Accomplished speaker, community activist & peer worker
Wendy Mishkin – Peer Support Coordinator, BCSS Victoria
Deborrah Sherman – Executive Director, OPDI
Vince Savoia – Founder of The Tema Conter Memorial Trust
Fiona Wilson – Coordinator, Peer Support Services & Practice Lead, St. Joseph’s Healthcare, Hamilton Ontario