Champlain Peer Network Welcome to CPN

Last Updated:

February 28, 2013 (Links)

Welcome to


What is the main purpose of the Champlain Peer Network (CPN)?

Originally, there was an Eastern Region Network (ERN) created in the early 1990s by local CSIs, to provide support to consumer/survivor initiatives (CSI) in the Champlain and South Eastern Ontario districts. The goal was to bring CSIs together to share information, resources and to offer organizational and peer support. In 2006, ERN expanded its membership to include a broader range of representation to reflect peer-led initiatives across the East Region (including both the Champlain and South Eastern Ontario Local Health Integration Network/LHIN areas), including peer support workers working in a variety of mental health service settings.

In 2007, the Minister of Health & Long-Term Care announced that similar CSI Networks would be funded at a rate of $30,000 (approximately) in each of the LHIN areas in the province (at the time of the announcement, there were three), and these networks are mandated to provide planning advice to their respective LHINs. The ERN was already receiving an annualized MOHLTC budget of $30,000 to support its activities and, because it covered two LHIN areas, received an enhancement of approximately $30,000. While most planning networks do not receive budgets to support planning activities, the reality of CSI budgets (which generally fall below $200,000, or, more often, under $100,000 annually) is a significant barrier to participating in system planning activities, despite the fact that this is part of their core mandate. In February 2008, the SEO Local Health Integration Network Board voted to split the ERN into two separate networks, one for Champlain (Champlain Peer Network) and one for Southeast.

What are Consumer-Survivor (Peer-Led) Initiatives?

Consumer/Survivor initiatives (CSI) began in 1991 when the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) announced anti-recession program funding for a special project designed to tap the skills, knowledge and commitment of people with direct experience in the mental health services system. Since 1991, support for CSIs has grown and currently, the MOHLTC provides limited funding for 60 CSIs for both provincially based organizations and those that operate locally or regionally. Making It Happen (the current Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care mental health policy framework) lists the following three key functions of Consumer/Survivor Initiatives (CSI).

1. Offer unique opportunities to consumer/survivors to find support from others who have direct experiences of what it means to be a consumer/survivor.

2. Provide opportunities for consumer/survivors to become involved as members and take on leadership and decision-making roles in the planning and operations of their own organizations.

3. Operate based on the needs and interests of consumers/survivors in local areas.

Peer-led initiatives are run by people with direct experience of mental health issues. They are grounded in the principles of self-help, self-management and self-determination. People with direct experience of mental health issues manage these initiatives and make up the full complement or are the majority members of the Initiatives Boards or Advisory Committees (in the case of unincorporated programs sponsored by agencies).

Principals of recovery

1. Recovery is defined by the person and at the most fundamental level is a non-linear journey in finding meaning in one's life, on one's own terms.

2. A highly personal process.

3. Not synonymous with a cure.

4. Not a single model, it permeates all aspects of the continuum of services and supports.

5. Recovery is not a new concept, first emerged in the 1950s.

Services that promote recovery

1. Facilitate & empower people's independence.

2. Focus on community reconnection.

3. Promote equal sharing of power and responsibility between people who use services and people who provide services.

4. Involve people in recovery in planning, implementation and evaluation of services - we can demonstrate how people in recovery have the power to shift the system.

5. Demonstrate improved outcomes for the person.

6. Ensure that respect, inclusion and authenticity form the basis for relationships.