Whether you are looking to strengthen your own peer support skills, launch a peer support group in your own community, learn or improve upon practical techniques to manage anxiety, psychological distress or crisis-response, and/or other care and response management tools and practices, here are resources and processes here that can help you get started.

Informal Peer Support Resources

Sustaining your wellness and preventing burnout: Stay connected (Canadian Medical Association)

Peer support is a strategy that can be helpful in countering stress and anxiety. Catching things early and reaching out can make a difference. Think about “buddying up” with someone you trust for check-ins and informal chats. This page offers some quick ways to offer informal peer-to-peer support, using the HELP acronym. 

Helping Each Other through the Pandemic: Providing Informal Physician-to-Physician Peer Support (Well Doc Alberta)

The COVID-19 pandemic poses a substantial threat to physician wellness as it burdens not only health care resources but also mental health and psychological resources. During this time, informal peer support is more critical than ever. Drawing from a variety of trusted sources, Well Doc Alberta has created a bulletin on the topic of providing informal physician-to-physician peer support. This document defines informal peer support, discusses why it is needed and provides tips on how to strengthen informal peer support skills.    

Recognizing and Responding to a Distressed Colleague (Canadian Medical Association)

Physicians, residents and medical students are at risk of experiencing burnout, depression and suicidal ideation and are often reluctant to seek help when they need it, because of a variety of factors. As physicians and learners, it is important for you to be able to recognize signs of distress — both in yourself and in your colleagues — and to be prepared to respond appropriately. This document provides a list of distress indicators that are important to be aware of and to look out for. Approaching someone in distress can be uncomfortable, so practical recommendations for how to respond to medical professionals in distress are also provided, along with a comprehensive list of physician-specific resources to offer as additional support.