Peer Workers are people with lived/living experience of substance use. They use that experience to inform their professional work. They are also known as Experiential Workers.
Engagement of peer workers is recognized nationally and provincially as best practice in harm reduction. Peer workers are at the forefront of harm reduction and overdose response initiatives in BC.
Peer worker engagement uses a community-based approach to decision making. Engaging community in the process is far more likely to lead to effective and acceptable service delivery. Peer worker engagement can address the equity of harm reduction services and interventions. It fosters communication, builds trust, increases knowledge and reduces stigma and discrimination which ultimately reduces barriers and increases use of services.
The Peer-2-Peer project aims to identify, implement, and evaluate peer-led support interventions for peers/ experiential workers in overdose response settings.
Visit Toward the Heart's
Peer2Peer page for project background, the ROSE model and best practice manual, COVID-19 support tools and the compassionate action campaign series.
CIE facilitates community based dialogues across BC that provide opportunities to build capacity and develop networks across and within health services and community agencies to foster and promote accessible, inclusive and culturally safe harm reduction services through ongoing peer engagement. Visit Toward the Heart's CIE page for project description and reports.
PEEP's goal is to inform and enhance peer engagement with best practice recommendations so service providers BC-wide can work with peers in their communities to better meet local needs. This board builds on existing peer relationships and explores new ways for more meaningful, ongoing dialogue with service providers and community partners.
Visit the Harm Reduction Program Reports page for PEEP resources, including publications and best practice guidelines.
Toward the Heart to learn more about the PEEP program.
Note: PEEP began as the Peer Engagement & Evaluation Project, an innovative initiative to ensure everyone across the province has access to harm reduction services.