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St. Joseph’s Health Centre launches new peer support team

St. Joseph’s launches the Beyond Silence project to promote mental health and safety in the health workplace
Some members of the Beyond Silence support team are, from left to right, Nadia Rainville, Dr. Sandra Moll (McMaster University, Leonard Amanatey, Lindsay Crocco (McMaster University), Cara Shewchuk, Chelsea Paquette, Samantha Thibault and David Long. Other members of the team are Kristin Long and Jennifer Gosselin.

St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Sudbury recently announced the launch of its Peer Support Team to work in collaboration with McMaster University and the Beyond Silence Project

This is an important step towards achieving the vision of creating a workplace that supports the psychological health and safety of every member of the team across the organization, said a news release. 

Beyond Silence is a program that provides a series of resources, customized for health-care workers, designed to promote early intervention and support for the mental health of those workers. 

The program also promotes psychological health and safety in health-care workplaces.  The new team will include the chaplains and social workers at each of the four sites.   

Another exciting aspect of the peer support launch, said St. Joseph's, is the Beyond Silence App which offers a series of resources, customized for health-care workers using smart phones and other devices. 

St. Joseph’s said it is also pleased with the partnership with McMaster University, which provides the research aspect of the project. 

Sandra Moll, Principal Investigator of the Beyond the Silence project, explained the importance of Beyond Silence. 

“The Beyond Silence project will advance and test an innovative new e-mental health app for health care workers designed to reduce barriers to accessing mental health information and support, and provide real-time access to confidential, quality peer support,” she said. “This project is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.” 

Kari Gervais, president and CEO at St. Joseph's said the new program would be an important tool in supporting staff. 

“The team at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre, St. Joseph’s Villa, and Villa St. Gabriel’s Villa are passionate about the need to work with our staff to co-create a work environment that protects and promotes Psychological Health and Safety. The Beyond Silence app will be a very helpful addition to the suite of tools we are implementing to support our staff.  We are grateful to the team at McMaster for involving us in this work, and especially to our internal peer support team for sharing our passion and being leaders among their peers.”