Peer Support Program FAQ's

What is a Peer Support Program (PSP)?

The CAPS PSP is a way to support CAPS members when they go through a life-changing crisis or difficult situation of a personal, family or emotional nature. Divorce, personal or family illness, death of a loved one, trauma, difficulties with children, caregiving, and stress, are a few examples of what our CAPS PSP can help you with. A trained colleague provides a friendly ear to another colleague who would like support from someone who has lived a similar experience and really understands what it’s like.

Can the PSP help me with my business?

Speakers Listening is not business coaching or mentorship. We know it can be hard to focus on business while going during a personal crisis and that sometimes a tough personal time can seriously derail us from our business plan and aspirations. We don’t focus on business. We listen, encourage and support our members through a difficult personal or family crisis so that they can quickly recover and get back to business.

Is this a mental health service?

The CAPS PSP and its volunteers are not a substitute for mental health advice, opinion or treatment from a doctor or qualified mental health practitioner. We encourage you to see your doctor or obtain professional help from a trained mental health professional if you need it. Our program is not a counselling program or a crisis centre – it is a peer to peer talking and listening program.

What does a PSP Volunteer do?

The volunteer is a trustworthy listener who encourages and supports a CAPS colleague through a difficult personal or family crisis such as illness, death, trauma, or in dealing with a natural disaster. The goal of Speakers Listening is to enable members to connect with a peer who has lived through a similar experience and therefore understands what it is like. This trustworthy listener will encourage and support you through a difficult time.

Who are the volunteers and how were they chosen?

Our volunteers are a diverse group of people who are representative of the CAPS membership across the country. The CAPS PSP Volunteers have all had their share of personal struggles to deal with, know what pain is and have gone through a personal journey to recovery. They are eager to lend a helping hand to colleagues who are going through a difficult time. They understand what it’s like. They also know that people have incredible resilience and can recover their zest for life because they’ve done it.

How do I contact the PSP Volunteer?

Contact with a Peer Support Volunteer is done by phone, Skype, FaceTime or at times in person. The person seeking the Peer Support Program will initiate the contact and assume any telephone, Internet and data charges if there are any. You can get to know our volunteer team by clicking here.

What training do the volunteers have?

Training for the volunteers is ongoing. Volunteers underwent a training program prior to the annual convention and are committed to continuing their training via monthly conference calls.

How is the program administered?

Faythe Buchanan, the PSP Program Chair, is the Volunteer Program administrator. Faythe understands how much difference a little support and encouragement can make. As a CAPS member she also understands your need for privacy. You will be treated with discretion and the utmost respect. You can choose a peer support volunteer yourself, or contact Faythe Buchanan, the PSP Program Chair if you would rather have a volunteer chosen for you. Throughout the process Faythe will be available as back up to make sure the support service is working as it is supposed to.

What about confidentiality?

Your personal business is a private matter. We follow the highest standards of confidentiality. Only Faythe (or in her absence her designate), your Peer Support Volunteer and yourself will know that you have used the program, unless of course you tell other people. One of the first things we will discuss with you is confidentiality – what it means and the few exceptional circumstances that the PSP Volunteer may be required by law or by professional ethics to disclose a small amount of information to secure your own or someone else’s safety.

How do I apply to get connected to a PSP Volunteer?

Simply fill out the brief Peer Support Request Form to apply. You can also use the Confidential email ( to reach Faythe Buchanan. She will contact you as soon as possible by email to set up a time to talk with you by whatever way you choose – phone, Skype, or FaceTime. She’ll explain the program, find out your needs and link you with a peer support volunteer.

Can I contact a volunteer myself without applying?

You can contact any of our Peer Support volunteers directly by visiting the Peer Support Team page. You can also fill out the Request Form and speak with Faythe Buchanan who will assign you to a volunteer if you prefer. The goal is for you to be matched with someone best suited to help you.

Is there any cost to this service?

This is a volunteer-driven program. As part of the CAPS Foundation programming, there is no cost to CAPS members to use this program other than the cost of any telephone, Internet and data charges when you speak with a PSP Volunteer.

Where can I get more information about the PSP?

Contact Faythe Buchanan, Chair of the CAPS Peer Support Program using the following confidential email: