Peer Support Groups
At our caregiver support groups the focus is on you, the caregiver. Whether you feel like talking or you're more comfortable just listening, we offer a confidential, non-judgmental, friendly atmosphere to meet other caregivers with similar experiences. Facilitated sessions are free and open to all caregivers, regardless of age or the health condition of your care recipient.
Here is what caregivers say about our peer support groups:
"We come together as strangers but leave as family."
"I really feel these groups are very important to the community. They are a vital service that should be supported."
"These groups are...there to help you through difficult times. You realize you are not alone, and that gives you confidence that you are doing your best."
With support groups throughout Nova Scotia, there's no need to ever feel alone. If you are unsure of locations and need help with directions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Select your region at the right to see what groups are scheduled in your area. If you don't see one close to you, then why not call us and let's see if we've got something in the works.
If you are looking for a group that is condition-specific or offers support for the care recipient and the caregiver, please select Other Support Groups on the right.
Please note: Our facilitators are staff members who are or have been caregivers like you. However, they are not trained medical or mental health professionals. If you're wondering about the differences between peer support that we deliver, and counseling therapy, for example, the Eating Disorders Support Network of Alberta provides these helpful explanations:
A validating group experience rooted in the belief that everyone has the wisdom to determine the best route for themselves to recovery. It is a place of mutual respect, open communication, and safety. It is a place where judgment is suspended and people are free to ask questions, vent frustrations or fears, explore answers for themselves and solace. It is a place where the participant is surrounded by people who ‘get it’ and the facilitator plays an important role but is not the only teacher in the room. No records are kept. All participants agree to abide by the rules of the group including confidentiality.
A professional, confidential and medically oriented process to achieve psychological health. Accurate records of the content of the meetings are kept. Typically, there is a stated objective or desired outcome.
Medical intervention aimed at addressing specific health concerns. Treatment is overseen by a qualified medical doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist who keeps records, oversees medication and operates under the guidelines of the health system.
If you are looking for a therapy or treatment option, please call us and we can help you find the appropriate service.
If you are wondering if a peer support group would be helpful, you may want to look at these two articles outlining the benefits of peer support: How Caregiver Support Groups Can Help, and on page 6 of the 2013 Fall/Winter edition of The Beacon newsletter, The Benefits of a Caregiver Support Group. We also offer a telephone-based support group, Caregiver TeleGroup Support for those caregivers who are uncomfortable in an in-person group setting or who cannot step away from their caregiving situation.
As explained in the article Our Family & Friends Don’t Get It, no one understands a caregiver like another caregiver!