The Key Element of Relief's Self-Management Workshops: Peer Support

Mental health challenges can often lead individuals to feel isolated, be it in their personal lives or within the workplace. Individuals may not always know where to turn, or they may hesitate to open up about their situations with those around them.

This article delves into the numerous advantages offered by Relief's self-management workshops, with a focus on the transformative role of peer support, particularly in a professional context.


benefits for the employee

Self-management workshops create a secure space where participants share their experiences, breaking the isolation, guilt, or shame often experienced by those grappling with mental health challenges like anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder.

Peer support in a group setting is a pivotal component that allows participants to discuss their challenges, as well as their personal triumphs and successes. The workshop aims to foster an atmosphere of mutual understanding, respect, and solidarity, ensuring each person feels heard, understood, and supported.

Stéphanie Ipavec-Levasseur, Product Director at Desjardins Assurances, highlights that sharing experiences with others contributes to an individual's well-being: "Sharing among peers the strategies that work more or less effectively and discussing how one copes with the illness helps in better acceptance and living with the situation."

These exchanges enable access to diverse perspectives, exploration of new strategies, and provide emotional validation, thereby reinforcing community bonds while contributing to collective mental well-being.

A study conducted in collaboration with the Workplace Health Research Laboratory (L'espace T) examined the potential effects of one of Relief's workshops. Notable findings from participants include:

  • A significant reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • An increase in behaviors related to mental health self-management
  • An increase in self-esteem as a worker
  • A noteworthy reduction in work-related functioning difficulties (e.g., lack of concentration, difficulties in performing routine tasks)
  • An improvement in psychological well-being at work.


benefits for employers and managers

When an employee participates in a self-management workshop, the impact extends beyond the individual. Positive effects are also observed for the employer or manager. Employees receiving adequate support for their mental health concerns tend to experience better well-being, fostering a more positive work environment.

For instance, over 89% of participants in the "Living with a Better Work-Life Balance" self-management workshop reported positive effects on their mental health, with 93% indicating they would recommend the workshop to a colleague or friend.

Stéphanie Ipavec-Levasseur adds that the long-term benefits of self-management can serve both in prevention and recovery. "Self-management workshops can assist an individual on leave towards their path to recovery or prepare someone to face the next challenge. Self-management allows one to be as proactive as possible regarding mental health, take control of the situation to get better and stay better."

This approach empowers individuals to be more resilient within their organization, more adaptable, and better equipped to meet the demands of the workplace. This applies to all members of a company, including employees and managers.

To facilitate staff access to these workshops, an employer can offer a collective insurance plan covering registration fees. "Providing a group plan that covers various resources enables each person to access tools tailored to their needs, reducing financial barriers."


in conclusion

By emphasizing peer support in its workshops, Relief creates spaces where isolation dissipates, trust strengthens, and the path to recovery becomes a shared experience. For employees and managers, these workshops represent a valuable investment in mental health at work. To learn more about Relief's 5 self-management workshops, visit the self-management workshops page.


Annie Beaudin, Clinical Director










References (1) and (2): 

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