VTN’s National Para Support Team

Veterans Helping Veterans Across Canada

VTN Program Graduates assemble as national team to help other veterans

From Survive to Thrive

After graduating from VTN’s Veterans Transition Program or Transition Skills Course, many of our veterans are inspired to stay engaged and help future VTN program participants in their transition from military to civilian life. As VTN Paraprofessionals (‘Paras’), they complete training in peer support and encourage other veterans in our programs with their experience and knowledge specific to the veteran community.

We have 46 trained Paras from coast-to-coast!

Specialized training

Paras take specialized training supported by the Atlas Institute for Veterans and Families (formerly known as the Centre of Excellence on PTSD) in Ottawa. This invaluable training that is trauma and attachment focussed helps paras connect with veterans.


Paras engage in roundtable discussions with community leaders, stakeholders, and present VTN’s mission to other veteran organizations and community businesses.


Paras join VTN programs to support participants still struggling in their journey from military to civilian life, and share their own experiences to encourage conversation and camaraderie.

Para Resource Navigator

Paras provide one-on-one support for VTN program participants looking for assistance in identifying needs, locating resources and developing an action plan to help successfully transition out of service.

Led by Sgt (Ret’d) Doug Allen, CD, SEP, MSW

Sgt (Ret’d) Doug Allen leads this effort as the National Manager of Veteran Paraprofessional Support. Doug brings 20 years of military experience, a Master’s degree in Social Work, and the lived experience of a VTN graduate, turned-para, turned-clinician.

Doug manages the recruitment, training and continued professional development for VTN’s paraprofessionals, including opportunities to learn directly from VTN’s clinicians to hone their skills in peer support. Doug fosters important collaborations by connecting Paras with each other across the country to learn from each other’s experiences and develop ways to support one another. VTN’s growing paraprofessional network is an exciting area of growth and we are fortunate to have Doug’s experience and passion to strengthen it further.

“This was my opportunity to give back and help others that needed it.”

Craig Passmore, Paraprofessional in Manitoba

How do I Become a Paraprofessional?

If you are a graduate of a VTN program, and want to help other veterans, we want to hear from you! VTN has a formal registration process, in line with the requirements of our clinicians, to start things off. There will be an intake interview to discuss what is involved with the specialized training, answer your questions and determine if it’s right for you.

After completing VTN’s specialized training, Paras use the new skills learned to support fellow veterans at VTN program retreats and provide greater peer support in communities.

If you have graduated from one of our programs and want to find out more about becoming a Paraprofessional: