Since 1951, the first full week of May has coincided with “Mental Health Week.”  

Hosted by the Canadian Mental Health Association, this year’s theme is “Healing through Compassion” in which the organization explores how compassion connects us all.  

The week encourages communities, schools, and workplaces to consider how mental health impacts everybody and promotes awareness of an often-invisible affliction.   

“When you break a bone, what do you do? You go get a cast. When you have cancer, you go to see an oncologist,” says Monique Levesque-Pharoah, Director of Development for Peer Connections Manitoba. “When you’re suffering with depression or anxiety or any area of your mental health, that’s when you call peer support.”  

Peer Connections Manitoba, formerly known as the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society, is a charitable non-profit organization that connects individuals facing similar experiences and challenges, providing vital peer support since 2020. 

“Anyone who is dealing with something or a family member of someone who is dealing with something can call in and speak to someone one-on-one (or) attend a group,” says Adam Milne, Director Peer Services, Peer Connections Manitoba.  

Peer support can play a significant role in promoting resilience, fostering connections, and enhancing overall well-being. 

“When somebody can connect with somebody else, and it means something to both of them, it inspires hope,” says Milne. “People then can see that someone else has been where they’ve been and then has been past it."  

With 11 sites around Manitoba as well as online and over-the-phone services, Peer Connections Manitoba has supported over 2600 individuals and over 1600 families since its inception.  

“I think at the heart of peer support is a person who wants to get better,” says Milne. “A person’s recovery can be a long and a great journey, and I truly believe that nothing great is done alone.”  

To learn more about Peer Connections Manitoba or to connect with their services, visit: