TERMS OF PARTICIPATION- CONNECTIONS PEER SUPPORTERS

Being a Connections Peer Supporter is a generous and fulfilling experience for many. However it is not right for everyone at every time. Prior to joining as a Connections Peer Supporter, please review the following and authorize below.

Before you become a Connections Peer Supporter, we also recommend discussing this service with your doctor, therapist or counselor (if you’re receiving care), or with a trusted family member or friend, in order to get another’s reflection on whether providing peer support is right for you.

Individuals who wish to participate in the Connections program as a Peer Supporter must agree to the following terms:

ELIGIBILITY

  1. You must be at least 18 years of age or older to be a Connections Peer Supporter.
  2. A person who is a Peer Supporter must have personally experienced suicidal thoughts and/or feelings. A Peer Supporter may be a suicide attempt survivor. For the purpose of this program, Connections uses the CDC’s definition of a suicide attempt survivor:  A non-fatal self-directed potentially injurious behavior with any intent to die as a result of this behavior. A suicide attempt may or may not result in injury.
  3. A Peer Supporter must currently be living free from suicidal thoughts or behaviors and practicing mental wellness. You must agree to discontinue participation in the program as a Peer Supporter and seek professional help if you become unwell for an extended period or if you become seriously suicidal.
  4. People who have been convicted of crimes against members of protected population (minors, people with disabilities, the elderly, etc.) are not eligible to be Connections Peer Supporters.

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

  1. You must be willing and able reply to individuals seeking a Peer Supporter in a timely manner (within one to two days) based on your stated availability. If you are unavailable or already speaking with someone else, you must indicate so by editing your public profile. Unanswered requests to connect with you may result in grounds for termination as a Connections Peer Supporter.
  2. You must be able to set up and keep scheduled meetings, phone calls, etc. as agreed upon between you and the person you are supporting.
  3. You are only required to support one person at a time. You can indicate on your profile that you are not available if you are already supporting someone by disabling your “Connect With Me” button.
  4. You must practice good listening skills, provide open and honest communication and feedback as described in training materials
  5. You must provide responsible support that does not encourage harmful behavior.
  6. You must maintain confidentiality of the individuals you are supporting. Exceptions include (1.) In the event of an urgent crisis or medical emergency (eg a suicide attempt in progress) and (2.) If explicit, written consent is given by the person you are mentoring to share their information.
  7. You must be willing to call emergency services in the event of an urgent suicide threat or emergency.
  8. You must not give any individual access to your Peer Supporter account login and/or password.
  9. You agree to adhere to all the Peer Support Provider Ethics as below.

PEER SUPPORT ETHICS

I commit to providing positive compassionate support to my peers that promotes their well-being, personal empowerment and dignity. In service of this commitment

I will:

  • Listen with an open mind and heart
  • Always be honest and open with my peer
  • Be aware of, establish and maintain personal boundaries
  • Practice self-awareness and self-care, including taking breaks from providing peer support when needed
  • Be available at agreed times, provide clarity on my availability and respect my peers time as well
  • Work collaboratively with my peer at all times, including to establish plans for personal safety in times of ‘crisis’ or suicidal intensity

I will not:

  • Engage with my peer as a psychotherapist or psychiatric professional, and/or recommend or suggest any specific treatment, medication, etc.
  • Accept, give, request or exchange money or gifts of any kind from my peer
  • Engage in dating, romantic and/or sexual behavior or discussion, or suggest such to my peer
  • Meet with my peer in person in anything other than an open public setting
  • Advocate, proselytize, evangelize or otherwise impose my personal religious or spiritual views on my peer