Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Peer Support Groups

Given the nature and risk of COVID-19 in relation to the MS community, we have made the decision to continue delivering programs and events, including all support groups, virtually until early 2022. For more information on COVID-19, please see our website.

It may be difficult at times to talk about MS related symptoms with family and friends who may not grasp what it is like.

Peer Support Groups bring together people diagnosed with MS, family, friends and caregivers affected by MS, to share common concerns and experiences in an informal and safe environment. The goal of these groups is to share emotional support and give and receive practical ideas in dealing with issues specific to the group members. Some groups, based on member input, may from time to time invite speakers for information and resource purposes.

For more information on Peer Support Groups or to find a group in your community, please contact the MS Navigators at 1-844-859-6789 or msnavigators@mssociety.ca.

FAQs

What are peer support groups?

Peer support groups are an informal way to link people who share common concerns or experiences. All peer support groups have the same goals: to give and receive emotional support and to share practical ideas in dealing with common problems. Groups are based on the idea that no one knows more about a problem than those living with it. Each person is an expert because of his/her own experiences.

How are the meetings structured and where do they take place?

Peer Support Groups each determine the focus and structure of their group and meetings. Each group has at least one facilitator who has been screened and trained by the MS Society of Canada.

Group meeting locations vary and are accessible and safe for all members.

For more information on Peer Support Groups, please contact the MS Navigators at 1-844-859-6789 or msnavigators@mssociety.ca.

What can I expect from my peer support group experience?

In a peer support group, individuals share not only their problems but their successes. Sharing and talking with others who have had either the same or similar experiences helps people to discover they are not alone and that there are others who understand what they are going through. Peer support groups may not solve all problems, but they do offer realistic support, encouragement and hope and are one of the most valued services the MS Society offers.

Will information discussed in the group be shared?

No. Confidentiality is a key component of all peer support groups.

How do I find out about peer support groups in my community?

Please contact the MS Navigators at 1-844-859-6789 or msnavigators@mssociety.ca

How do I become a facilitator or start a peer support group in my community?

Anyone interested in becoming a facilitator must undergo a screening process, followed by facilitator training through the MS Society of Canada. Please email volunteer@mssociety.ca or contact the MS Society at 1-800-268-7582 for more information on becoming a facilitator or starting a group.

Are there any online support groups?

There are a number of Peer Support Groups currently running virtually throughout Canada. To find a group in your community, please contact the MS Navigators at 1-844-859-6789 or msnavigators@mssociety.ca.

There is also a national Facebook page, regional Facebook pages, and Community Facebook groups which encourage people affected by MS and allied conditions to engage with one another by posting comments and sharing content. You can also read stories from the MS community and find information on a wide range of topics on our MS Blog.

I am not comfortable with a group setting, are there alternatives to support groups?

Some people prefer one to one support, the MS Society has a 1:1 Peer Support Program which offers telephone/internet peer support program for individuals living with MS. Volunteers from across Canada are provided with extensive training to ensure they have the skills to best support you, whether you are newly diagnosed, have specific question about MS or just want to connect with someone who understands what you might be going through.

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