Centre for Innovation in Peer Support

Group Participation Guide

Support House’s Agency Values:

Person directed supports:  we put people first

Connection & engagement:  we start conversations, build and maintain relationships, and are reflexive and responsive in our practice.

Health & Wellness:  we focus on practices that inspire our culture

Centre Group Values

As a community, we are grounded in our values. These values create a safe and inclusive environment for us to gather and share our journey. Our community values the following:

Integrity, Authenticity & Trust

  • We will be respectful of each other’s privacy.
  • Support House staff will only break confidentiality if someone expresses they are at risk of serious harm to themselves or others; or if a child under the age of 16 is at risk of being harmed.

Dignity, Respect & Social Inclusion

  • We will support an environment that is free from stigma, prejudice and discrimination.

Empathetic & Equal Relationships

  • We will be open-minded to each other’s journey and experiences.
  • We will share our time together equitably so that there is space for all to share.

Lifelong Learning & Personal Growth

  • We recognize that differences of opinion are an opportunity to hold space for each other without judgment.

Health & Wellness

  • In support of each other’s wellness: we will share the impact of the traumatic experiences we have been through rather than the details of the experience itself.

Self Determination

  • Everyone is invited to speak and share as they are comfortable. Silence is OK and we have the right to ‘pass’ if we would prefer to just listen.

In collectively upholding these values, we create a space of Hope & Recovery for everyone here today.

What I Need To Know About Virtual Groups

Please make sure you are in a space that is private, where we can share without others hearing or seeing the group from our device.

  • If someone you know would like to attend our Self-Help groups, please do not share the password.  We invite them to contact us and complete their registration so they can join the group.
  • Groups start on time.  To access our groups, please arrive on time.  Our Self-Help groups are locked five minutes after the designated start time, after which you will not have access to that session.  This is to support the safety of the space.
  • Please attend our virtual groups in a way that is similar to how you would attend an in-person group.  Consider your attire and conduct, including not having anything that looks like a substance (i.e. cigarettes, alcohol, drugs) in view of others or behaving in a way that is distracting (i.e. taking phone call, etc.)  When needed, you are welcome to turn off your camera.
  • Please know that if you join our groups by telephone, your telephone number will be visible to group participants, the group facilitators will change your phone number to your name once you are in the group space
  • Remember that the space behind us is on camera and visible to the group.
  • The Team will mute participants to prevent background noise/feedback so that we can all hear each other. You can unmute yourself to share at any time. If you are calling in, you can unmute yourself by dialing *6
  • The Facilitator will not respond to chat messages, they are focused on the group discussion. If you are having tech challenges, the host will be available to support you through these challenges at the beginning of group. If you need additional support while in group, the host will post a resource list in the chat at the beginning of group, please utilize these supports.
  • Sometimes the internet drops its signal, meaning that the meeting could end abruptly or one of the staff participants could suddenly disappear.  If this happens, please close your Zoom window and follow the initial steps you followed to re-join the meeting.
  • At the end of the group, we will post a link to a survey or launch a poll to collect feedback from your experience.  It is completely anonymous and is used to inform the future of our programming.

Intention of our Groups

Self Help – Our self-help groups provide a safe, non-judgmental space for supportive conversations about our individual wellness journeys.  Together we explore the impacts of mental health and/or substance use challenges on our lives and share resources, tools and strategies that have been of support.

Social Connections – Our social connections groups are focused on building community and relationships through safe spaces to have light-hearted, fun, exploratory conversations, share creative experiences and play games.

How to Connect to Virtual Groups

How Do I Set Up Zoom?

To start using Zoom on your desktop computer, laptop, tablet, iPad or phone, you will first need to download the free Zoom application. (A Zoom account is not required to access our meetings)

For the iOS app:

For the Android App:

For PC:

Okay, I Have the App… Now What?

Joining is easy! Here are some tutorials:

How to Join a Zoom meeting:

Navigation of Zoom on a cell phone will look slightly different than navigation of Zoom on a computer. Here is a tutorial for using Zoom on your phone/iPad:

Technical Troubleshooting

What do I need? (System requirements)

Ensuring your webcam permissions are activated:

Testing and using your microphone. Turning on and off microphone and video:

You can also use a phone to act as a speaker/mic once in the meeting, if your device does not have this function.

How To Use a Phone to Dial In:

  • If you have access to the internet you can navigate to our website and find the group you wish to join. From the numbers listed, dial the number with the area code closest to you (the numbers are listed below for your convenience). If you do not have access to the internet, please contact one of our Peer Support Workers at 1-833-845-WELL (9355), ext. 390 Mon-Fri 8:30am – 4:30pm and they will help connect you with groups via phone.
  • You will be prompted to enter the Meeting ID and then click #, the Meeting ID is also on the website. You then will be prompted to enter a personal ID, you do not need to do so, simply click #
  • In our peer-led Self-Help groups you will then be asked to enter the password and then click #, this is in your Welcome Letter. (This does not apply in our Social Connections groups)
  • You will then enter the waiting room for the group, the facilitation team will let you in shortly.

Our staff are happy to support you through testing technology in a one-to-one setting before group if you would find it helpful.  To schedule a time to meet with us, please contact our Peer Support Workers at 1-833-845-WELL (9355), ext. 390 or email us at [email protected] 

Canadian Zoom phone numbers to join groups by phone:

1 438 809 7799 Canada
1 587 328 1099 Canada
1 647 374 4685 Canada (Ontario)
1 647 558 0588 Canada (Ontario)
1 778 907 2071 Canada
1 204 272 7920 Canada

Please visit the Zoom website for more information on how to dial in by phone.

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