Family Programs


When someone is diagnosed with a mental health issue it can affect the whole family including the parents, children, spouses and siblings. Family members most often become the primary caregivers to their loved ones. Nipissing Family Peer Support Services (NFP), recognizes how stressful that can be. 1 in 5 people will experience mental health issues in their lifetime and we understand how mental health issues can affect both the individual who is diagnosed and the family and caregivers as well. In response to the family’s need for education and support regarding mental health, NFP is pleased to offer its Family Peer Support Services in a format suitable for both the programming and the participant’s needs (Virtual (Zoom)/ In-Person)

Individual meetings (Virtual (Zoom) a/o In-Person)

These meetings are free, safe and confidential. They are offered to family members supporting loved ones living with a mental health issue. We have an open-door policy, where our members can drop-in or call-in for an appointment when the support is needed.

Individual meetings are led by a peer support specialist. Our supporting goals include:

  • Supporting family caregivers
  • Facilitating good communication between family members & service providers
  • Providing advocacy regarding mental health issues that affect families
  • Offering educational opportunities that meet the needs of family members
  • Providing appropriate services to North Bay and outlying areas of Nipissing district.

Lived Experience and Recovery Network (LERN)

The Lived Experience and Recovery Network (LERN) is a networking body linking, supporting and educating all mental health consumer and family organizations in the North East region of Ontario. With over 28 member organizations in the districts of Algoma, Cochrane, Temiskaming, Sudbury, Muskoka Parry Sound and Nipissing, our vision is to empower peer communities towards wellness and recovery.

NAMI Family-to-Family Program (coming soon… Virtual Group Opportunities)

A free, 12-week course for family caregivers of individuals with mental illness. The course teaches the knowledge and skills that family members need to cope more effectively.

  • Attend with other family members just like you in a confidential setting
  • Gain insight into how mental illness affects your relative
  • Take an eye-opening look inside some of today’s current brain research related to mental illness
  • Learn how families can become advocates for better treatments for their relatives
  • Learn about the mental illness medications available and the latest treatment options
  • Learn to cope with worry and stress; learn to focus on care for you as well as your loved ones

What you should expect

  • Meets for 12 session, 2.5 hours each, free of cost.
  • Designed for loved ones (over age 18) of individuals living with mental illness.
  • Taught by trained family members of individuals living with mental illness.
  • Provides critical information and strategies related to care giving.
  • Incorporates presentations, discussion and exercises.
  • Designated an Evidence Based Practice in 2013 by SAMHSA.

Family Emergency Response Support Team (FERST)

  • 60-minute response time (maximum) to NBRHC during office hours with an onsite Peer Specialist and access to an onsite Peer Navigator during all afternoons and evenings.
  • 15-minute call back service for telephone support during regular office hours
  • Experienced, provincially trained Peer Support Specialist (Navigator) in E.D.
  • Collaborative with Mental Health & Addictions Peer Support Services at the NBRHC
  • One-stop system navigator support
  • Team approach within 12 hours with all regular Family Peer Services

Outreach Services

Our services extend into the towns, villages and rural areas of Nipissing District. Often meeting in informal settings, we offer small groups and individual family members a subset of our programming based on their needs.

We reach north to Marten River, west to Verner and Sturgeon Falls, east to Mattawa and south through Callander. With no formal dates and times for support in any of these outlying communities, family members are encouraged to contact NFPSS to ensure that we can coordinate a visit that meets your needs and location.

In the new realities that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought forward, we offer any and all services in a virtual setting. Our primary tool is Zoom, which can be had at no cost using a computer, tablet or smartphone. If Outreach services are requested, please consider the possibility of having our team visit virtually, at least until we can establish protocols on location to maintain a safe environment.