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The Ontario Government’s 2019 Roadmap to Wellness identified a need to create core service standards within mental health and addictions services.

Standards refer to agreed-upon benchmarks or guidelines for service provision. Standards define expectations about how services should be delivered and are important for ensuring that organizations deliver high-quality services.

The establishment of Provincial Standards within the peer support sector is important – in order to demonstrate that peer support services are effective and high quality, there must be agreement about what is meant by effective and high-quality peer support.

Creating Provincial peer support standards is expected to provide a number of benefits including:

  1. An improved collective voice regarding service excellence within Ontarian peer support programs.
  2. A concrete way for organizations to demonstrate their commitment to quality peer support to funders and stakeholders.
  3. An ability for OPDI to advocate for peer-related programs and services that demonstrate a commitment to these standards.

It is important that Provincial Standards of peer support are developed from the voices of service providers with lived and living experience. These Standards must be defined by peers and reflect peer support values. 

In order to facilitate the creation of peer-oriented service standards, OPDI is hosting focus groups to draw upon the knowledges that are held by individuals who practice and supervise peer support services. The focus groups will discuss peer support quality, integration of peer support values into standards, and organizational practices regarding peer support program standards.

These focus groups will be between 60 and 75 minutes long and will be hosted via Zoom.

We are aiming to draw upon a variety of experiences of peer support service provision including but not limited to:

  • Peers/ supervisors that provide peer support services within consumer-survivor initiatives
  • Peers/ supervisors that provide peer support services within CMHA branches
  • Peers/ supervisors that provide peer support services to equity-seeking communities (e.g. LGBTQIA+ peer support, First Nations Metis & Inuit peer support, peer support for Newcomers to Canada)

 If you are interested in participating in one of the focus groups, please register here:

After hosting these focus groups, the findings will be analyzed, and a first draft of Provincial peer support standards will be created and reviewed by OPDI’s Fidelity and Standards Committee. We will also create opportunities for focus group participants, and OPDI member organizations to provide feedback on our drafted Peer Support Standards.

If you have any questions please e-mail

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