Engagement & Co-design

Introduction and Ideas for Reflection and Consideration

Support House’s Centre for Innovation in Peer Support has grown to be a benchmark of excellence for engagement, co-design and peer support.  Utilizing their expertise in lived, living, family & caregiver experience within mental health and substance use/addictions, the Centre for Innovation in Peer Support will provide insights into:

  • Values based engagement strategies
  • Areas to consider when implementing campus engagement and co-designed opportunities
  • Resources to support you in creating equitable and inclusive engagement and co-design spaces for students within your learning environments.
Presenter Bios

Betty-Lou Kristy is the Director of Support House’s Centre for Innovation in Peer Support.  She has spent 15+ years as a provincial system-level, lived experience and family – advisor, educator, and advocate – helping to frame policy, governance, and programming. Betty-Lou is the recipient of several awards including the 2009 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Transforming Lives Award and the 2012/13 Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Achievement-Commitment Excellence Award in Partner Relations for her work with the Expert Advisory Narcotics. Betty-Lou is the Chair of the Health Minister’s Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC).

Richard Adair is a seasoned system advocate with both lived, living and family/caregiver expertise. He is currently the Interim manager of Support House’s Centre for Innovation in Peer Support.  Richard’s areas of expertise include development of Lived Experience and/or Family Advisory engagement initiatives within organizations and providing support to organizations who have peer staff, through training, program implementation, capacity building, evaluation, research, knowledge brokerage, and quality improvement. Richard received his Social Service Worker diploma at Sheridan College in 2015, and he is currently completing a Bachelor of Applied Science in Family & Community Social Services at the University of Guelph-Humber.

Alyssa Gremmen has been involved in peer work for over 10 years in various settings, in both volunteer and paid positions. She has implemented, managed and coordinated peer programs focusing on youth empowerment, mental health and harm reduction. Alyssa has a degree in Psychology from the University of Guelph. Currently Alyssa is the Peer Integration and System Lead at Support House’s Centre for Innovation in Peer Support. She supports partner organizations in planning, implementing, integrating and sustaining high quality values-based peer support through consultation, resource sharing, training and webinar facilitation and hosting communities of practice for peer staff and supervisors of peer staff.

Ethan Hopkins has been utilizing his lived experience to support others and create system change for over a decade.  Currently, Ethan supports the Centre Systems Team as the Peer Systems Navigator.  In this role, he supports the capacity building and professional development of Peer Supporters and their teams through consultation and communities of practice as well as the creation and facilitation of resources, webinars, and trainings. Prior to his work with the Centre Systems Team, Ethan supported those with mental health and/or addictions challenges in several different settings, including facilitating a variety of supportive groups and provided one-to-one support with both children and adults.

Additional Resources
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