Peer Engagement

AIDS Committee of Windsor (ACW) defines “Peer” as an individual with lived experience of HIV and/or Hepatitis C (Hep C) and/or substance use and/or sex work.

Peers often provide unique and critical insight as they experience the agency as both service user and service provider. Our Peer Engagement program is focused on working with peers to create and run Peer-2-Peer programming (programs led by peers for peers). Our program coordinators are here to support peers in their roles through program development, training, implementation and evaluation.

Peer programming is a priority and grounded within our agency’s values and strategic direction which is in accordance with the Ontario Accord and GIPA/MEPA principles. Additional key values and commitments of our peer program include:

  • Holistic respect and confidentiality at all levels of personal, professional and social interaction.
  • Facilitating collaboration, open communication, information sharing, and shared decision making.
  • Building on individual skills, shared interests, and mutual needs.
  • Commitment to positive prevention approaches.

Key Activities

Turning to One Another (TTOA)

TTOA is a program developed by the AIDS Bereavement Resiliency Program of Ontario (ABRPO) and delivered through our Support Services and Peer Engagement programs. The goal of TTOA is to strengthen ACW’s community programming through the greater involvement of PHA’s. It’s a joint PHA and staff initiative aimed at improving the quality of life of those living with HIV/AIDS, as well as increasing the capacity of the agency to better meet HIV related needs.

Through the ABRPO, TTOA members have the opportunity to receive training that will strengthen and build facilitation and leadership skills, which will equip members to effectively plan and manage projects of their choosing.

Click here for more information

Speakers Bureau

Putting a face to HIV/AIDS, Hep C, Injection drug use and sex work can have an enormous impact on reducing stigma and breaking down misconceptions within the communities of Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent. Through voicing a powerful message and sharing truths of lived experiences, we promote healthy choices and engage with those who may be facing similar realities.

Speakers Bureau is comprised of ACW peers from across Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent who are able to share their lived experiences and provide direct education to diverse audiences. Members will receive comprehensive training and experience in order to confidently and effectively deliver their personal message alongside agency staff during community outreach events.

Click here for more information

Educational and Skill-Based Workshop

Education plays a vital role in reducing stigma and discrimination as well as decreasing the number of new infections through promotion of safe practices. A new program to the agency, our educational and skill-based workshops will be peer facilitated or co-facilitated workshops commencing in 2018. Topics will focus around positive prevention techniques such as (but not limited to): coping skills, self-management, self-advocacy, mindfulness, problem solving, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, adherence, disclosure and harm reduction. Workshops will promote collaborative learning, empowerment, and advocacy among all peers and participants.

Adherence Based Monthly Support Group

In this group, peers lead and promote group discussions on topics such as (but not limited to): mental and emotional well-being, overcoming barriers, self-advocacy, skill-building, and healthy living. The monthly support group provides a safe space for members to discuss challenges and ambitions without judgement. The group aims to provide the support necessary to overcome obstacles and provide the encouragement needed to reach personal goals.

If you are interested becoming one of our Peer Leaders or would like more information, please contact our Peer Engagement Department at (519) 973-0222 ext.121 or ext.123 or fill out the application form below.

Translate »