The philosophy behind meaningful engagement of lived experience, whether it’s HIV, drug use, immigration, or homelessness is to value knowledge borne from experience.

Peers are integrated into Casey House’s client care team to support clients as they work to attain their health and wellness goals. Embedding the wisdom of lived experience into the care team enables diverse perspectives and skills, meaningful opportunities for peer connections, and strengthens Casey House’s commitment to GIPA/MEPA.

In both the inpatient unit and the outpatient program, individuals with lived experience are matched with clients who could benefit from additional one-on-one support. Each peer works directly with one client to assist with different aspects of living with HIV, such as adhering to their strict daily regimen of medications, attending multiple medical appointments, or living in social isolation. Peers build relationships with clients not by telling them what to do or not do, rather by sharing their personal experience.

Origins of peer support at Casey House

In 2017, Casey House partnered with the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) to test and study a peer support initiative. The final report, The ART of Conversation: Peer to Peer Telephone Support, highlighted the valuable role of peers, importance of close collaboration between clinical and community-based HIV services, and laid the foundation for the structured program, which was introduced in 2019.

“To be offered a peer to support me during the time I was hospitalized at Casey House was very important to me and my recovery.”

Casey House client

Become a peer

Casey House engages and trains peers with lived experience of HIV to support clients and enhance care.

Apply now