Peer support facilitator

The peer-support model is what differentiates Bereaved Families of Ontario – Midwestern Region from other forms of support. All of our groups are facilitated by volunteers who are themselves bereaved, and many of our members find facilitating to be a rewarding way to give back, as well as continue on their own grief journey.

Our facilitators provide support for our Parents Grieving the Death of an InfantParents Grieving the Death of a Child and Living with Loss support groups.

Please read stories about Crystal, Cecily and Kathy, some of our amazing facilitators who turned their loss into a passion for helping others.

Along with lived bereavement experience, our facilitator training is mandatory to volunteer as a peer facilitator with BFO-MR.


DID YOU KNOW?

Your grief experience can bring hope and healing to someone else.

Hearing experiences, stories and coping strategies from a peer has a profound effect on people who are grieving and helps normalize the grief experience. You get it. You’ve been there.

We will guide you every step of the way.

Just as you are not alone on your grief journey, you are not alone as a facilitator for our peer support groups. Providing grief support is a team effort. From training and mentorship to regular check-ins and opportunities to gather and share experiences among fellow facilitators, we are committed to supporting you. You will always work with an experienced co-facilitator and have the ongoing support of BFO-MR and mentors in your role.

Our exceptional training program helps you gain skills, knowledge and confidence.

Participants learn about BFO-MR philosophies, programs and structure, and complete the program with a strong understanding of peer support. Plenty of opportunities for discussion, questions and clarification are built into the curriculum to encourage comfort and confidence in your new role.

You don’t need to be a grief expert. Peer support means bringing empathy and understanding. Trust your gut, your heart and your personal experience and you can help the healing begin.

Personal, lived experience is what makes you a peer volunteer. You aren’t expected to have all the answers. You aren’t expected to “fix” anyone. You aren’t expected to know all there is to know about grief. As a facilitator you bring your experience into group. You encourage conversation, dialogue and an exploration of thoughts, feelings and emotions. You help others share their story. You help them understand they are not alone.

Supporting others through their grief contributes to your own journey.

There is no timeline for grief – it’s a path with twists and turns and while we get better at navigating it, there isn’t a final destination. For many of our facilitators, others’ experiences have provided an opportunity to consider their own journey with a new perspective.

We could not do the work we do without our volunteers.

Bereaved Families of Ontario – Midwestern Region is a peer support organization. Without our volunteers, we would not be able to offer our programming in the community for parents, individuals and families who are grieving. Our volunteers are on the frontline, providing care, compassion and understanding.

Content covered includes:

  • BFO-MR group structure, content and process
  • Overview of grief theories
  • Facilitation skills and exercises
  • Boundaries and self-care

Individuals will complete this training with a strong understanding of peer support, and gain the skills and confidence required to facilitate in a group setting for BFO-MR programming.

A few things to keep in mind before applying:

  • Be aware of your limitations and ensure you are in a place in your life where you are able to make a commitment to volunteering with BFO-MR. We require at least a one-year commitment.
  • Our 20-hour facilitator training takes place over multiple days and you are required to attend the full program.
  • We highly recommend attending 2-3 Living with Loss groups in advance of the training. You are welcome to join us at our Kitchener, Cambridge, Guelph or Mount Forest locations.
  • All applicants are required to complete an interview prior to the training.

If you are interested in participating in our next training session:

For more information, please email or call the office at 519-603-0196.