Peer Support program gets boost from Bell Let’s Talk

CMHA Kelowna is pleased to receive an $18,000 grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund to support the development of Peer School.
Peer Support program gets boost from Bell Let’s Talk

CMHA Kelowna is pleased to receive an $18,000 grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund to support the development of Peer School, a free online program for people to learn how to help and support others.

Provided through CMHA Kelowna’s Discovery College online platform, Peer School is a range of workshops created to increase an individual’s ability to provide caring and compassionate support.

“Peer School is designed for people who are currently, or are interested in, helping others,” said Beki Hardcastle, Discovery College Lead. “So, whether you’re a friend that people go to, a caregiver supporting a child, a partner helping a loved one, or just wanting to gain these skills, Peer School workshops are tailored to assist you in this.”

As with all Discovery College programs, Peer School workshops are created by experts through experience and experts through learning. “The goal is to share what people have found to be the most important and supportive,” said Hardcastle. “So, all of our workshops are co-developed with individuals who have personal life-experience and with people who have educational or work experience.”

With Bell’s funding, CMHA Kelowna will implement topics that include boundary setting, communication skills, understanding helpful relationships, goal setting, mental health literacy, facilitation skills, and Indigenous cultural competencies.

“The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant supports our commitment to building a mentally healthy community,” said CMHA Kelowna CEO Shelagh Turner. “Our goal is to provide excellent service and smart supports that will make a difference in helping all people achieve mental health and well-being. This important grant will help us to get a step closer in building a stronger community.”

“Bell Let’s Talk is pleased to support CMHA Kelowna and the development of Peer School workshops to help people in the community learn how to support others,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund provides grants to mental health organizations in communities throughout the country, like CMHA Kelowna, working to expand access to mental health care for more people who need support close to home.”

Bell Let’s Talk Day is January 26

On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell donates 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for every applicable text, local or long distance call, tweet or TikTok video using #BellLetsTalk, every Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video, and every use of the Bell Let’s Talk Facebook frame or Snapchat lens. All at no cost to participants beyond what they would normally pay their service provider for online or phone access.

Bell Let’s Talk promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk Day and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research and workplace leadership initiatives throughout the country. To learn more, please visit

About Discovery College

CMHA Kelowna’s Discovery College offers free educational courses for anyone and everyone. Each course is developed and delivered in collaboration with people who have knowledge and personal experience in each topic area and are designed to increase a person’s skills, abilities and confidence to self-manage their own mental health and wellbeing. To learn more, please visit Discovery College.

About CMHA Kelowna

The CMHA Kelowna Branch is a charity that promotes the mental health of all through community-based programs and services, public education, advocacy and research. It is the lead agency and operator of Foundry Kelowna, an integrated youth and family centre that unites partner organizations to provide coordinated services addressing the primary care, mental health, substance use, counselling and social service needs of youth aged 12 – 24 and their families. CMHA Kelowna is part of a network of more than 10,000 CMHA volunteers and staff in more than 100 branches across Canada. To learn more, please visit CMHA Kelowna.