VTN’s National Peer 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 part of VTN’s Peer Support Team, 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 VTN Peer Supporters from coast-to-coast!

Specialized training

VTN Peers 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.

Advocate

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

Support

VTN Peers 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.

VTN Peer Support Navigator

VTN Peers 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.

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

Craig Passmore, VTN Peer Supporter in Manitoba

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

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

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

“When another lone wolf looking for a pack told me about the Veterans Transition Network – a group of clinicians from the University of British Columbia who run a 10-day peer support group program for Veterans – I knew I at least had to step into the door.

Within a few days, the room full of lone wolves had become a pack.

We started to recall our journeys and reclaim ownership of the sacred ground we walked before. We began to walk with our heads held high as we healed together and reclaimed ourselves from the traumas of our past.”

–Sgt (Ret’d) Doug Allen
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How do I Become a VTN Peer Supporter?

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, VTN Peers 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 VTN Peer Supporter: