About Us

Consumer Involvement and Initiatives


“The history of the consumer movement highlights the importance of critique, collaboration, participation and continuous renegotiation of the terms on which mental health care is built.”

The Consumer Involvement and Initiatives is an umbrella program that amplifies the consumer (service user) voice within Vancouver Community Mental Health and Substance Use Services.

Consumer Involvement  includes research, representation on boards and committees, strategic development and general employment opportunities.

Consumer Initiatives are a range of services led by and for consumers providing creative opportunities to encourage individuals to explore activities that support recovery and includes  designated peer delivered services including  the Vancouver Peer Support program, the Consumer Initiative Fund,  and Peer Led Workshops.


Consumer Initiative Fund

The Consumer Initiative Fund supports projects proposed, managed and led by consumers of mental health services in Vancouver. Participation in this initiative, as committee members or project managers, enables individuals to develop leadership and business skills while providing rehabilitation and recovery opportunities for other service users.

Individuals involved in all aspects of the Consumer Initiative Fund have lived experience as recipients of mental health services.

For inquiries about the Consumer Initiative Fund, please contact megan.brummitt@vch.ca or 604-730-7675.

Peer Support Worker Program

The Peer Support Program provides an opportunity for people who have received mental health care to call upon their experience to provide relevant goal-based support to youth, adults and older adults who have serious and/or persistent mental health/substance use challenges.

Peer Support Workers are individuals with lived experience of mental illness/substance use who have graduated from a Peer Support Worker Training Program. These individuals work on a contracted basis under the supervision of Rehabilitation staff with clients who access Vancouver Mental Health and Substance Use programs and services , providing support to achieve personal goals, learn new skills, and link with community resources. The peer support relationship typically lasts until the established goals of the relationship are achieved. This varies from weeks to months.

Peer Support Worker Training is provided through Vancouver Mental Health and Substance Use and other organizations such as Coast Mental Health. Peer support workers receive classroom and practical training. Areas of learning include roles and responsibilities, communication, boundaries, strengths-based approach/psychosocial rehabilitation principles, trauma-informed care, motivational interviewing, and confidentiality.

Access to receive peer support is through referral from a staff member on the mental health team or unit where a client is receiving services. To request a peer support worker, please ask your health care provider. 

For information about becoming a Peer Support Worker and training, please call 604-708-5276 or email cynthia.chao@vch.ca. Updates on the next training session will be posted at https://www.spotlightonmentalhealth.com/peer-support-training-update/ when they are available.

Peer Led Workshops

Our workshops include:

Coping with Uncertainty

BRIDGES, Footsteps & PEAS

Talking with Your Doctor

Voices and Visions Drop-in Support Groups

PWR (Plan for Wellness & Recovery)

WOW (Working Our W.R.A.P.)

Mandarin WOW (Working Our W.R.A.P.)

Your Recovery Journey

Check out our Calendar for upcoming workshops!

For inquiries about the Peer Led Workshops program, please contact celina.ambrosio1@vch.ca or 604-708-5244.

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