Community of practice meetings

Community of Practice Meetings

Community of practice meetings

Community of practice meetings provide an opportunity for all individuals providing peer support services on campus to come together to engage in case collaboration, training and administrative updates. These meetings should take place at minimum once a month and all peer supporters should be expected to attend.

Community of practice meetings provide the peer support team with a chance to discuss the things that are going well, the things that are proving difficult and potential ways of improving peer support programming on campus. It is recommended a representative from the supporting community partner attend or facilitate at least the initial community of practice meetings, since these individuals often have experience facilitating these meetings and can ensure the practices taking place on campuses are aligned with peer support standards. Community of practice meetings also provide opportunities for ongoing training in the provision of peer support services. One of the values of peer support involves lifelong learning and personal development. It is vital peer supporters are continuously reflecting on their practice and are provided with opportunities for improvement.

Examples of potential training topics to be covered within a community of practice meeting include:

  • Supporting participants experiencing pervasive feelings of hopelessness
  • Navigating conversations about medication as a peer supporter
  • Supporting participants experiencing thoughts of suicide
  • Working as a part of an interdisciplinary team
  • Avoiding peer drift[1]Peer drift occurs when the peer support providers do not feel comfortable in their recovery‐oriented role and they begin to shift to a more medical treatment role. Be Well Do Well Peer Mentor Program: Maintaining You Role as a Change Agent – Krasman Centre
  • Communicating the peer support role to others
  • Personal safety and anonymity
  • Wellness strategies for peer supporters
  • Cultural competency

Whenever possible, peer supporters should be invited to facilitate training opportunities themselves. Peer supporters come with unique strengths, knowledge, capacities and skill sets, and these valuable insights should be encouraged and shared amongst the team. This also increases the sense of community within the team and reduces the chances of peer supporters becoming siloed within
their roles.

References   [ + ]

1. Peer drift occurs when the peer support providers do not feel comfortable in their recovery‐oriented role and they begin to shift to a more medical treatment role. Be Well Do Well Peer Mentor Program: Maintaining You Role as a Change Agent – Krasman Centre
Guide: PDF Version