Peer Support Guidebook

February 26, 2024

Quality Relationships


Youth who are 16 and 25 who are helping a friend.


To provide the tools to youth who are helping their friends through a crisis. 

Across the world, mental illness among young people continues to rise. It is the number one cause of life-years lost to disability in this population group. In Canada, almost 20 percent of youth between the ages of 15 and 24 experience mental and substance-use disorders.

This is the climate that the Peer Support Guidebook was developed in. Members of the Youth Mental Health and Addictions Council (YMHAC) saw that, especially in during the pandemic, young and emerging adults were struggling with their own mental health and supporting their friends who were struggling. This need provoked the group to take action, discuss what was helpful to those who were supporting their friends, and teach how to care for yourself in this difficult time. 

Inside this book, you can expect to find content on:

  • Chapter 1: Understanding Mental Health and Mental Illness
  • Chapter 2: Understanding Potentially Harmful Behaviours 
  • Chapter 3: How to Talk to Your Friend 
  • Chapter 4: Taking Care of Yourself 

How Did This Toolkit Come Together

With Covid-19 reducing the ability of the Youth Mental Health and Addictions Council to work with many local organizations, YMHAC redirected there efforts into creating a book aimed at supporting youth in supporting their friends. The team worked together over distance for over a year, creating and validating the content to ensure it was practical and effective.


Download the Peer Support Guidebook

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