Do you ever wish you could just talk to someone who truly gets what you’re going through? Someone who can hold space for you and answer questions through your shared experience?
A cancer diagnosis can be isolating and lonely, but being able to connect with someone who has walked a similar path can help. Your peers can offer a unique kind of support because they have been there and are willing to share what has worked for them in their experience and hold space for challenging emotions. Learning from someone else’s lived experience is valuable, offering empowerment and insights that other counselling modalities cannot.
This is where Mentoring Matters comes in.
Mentoring Matters is a peer support program that harnesses the healing power of community. The goal is to provide emotional support to individuals impacted by breast cancer through sharing and discussing shared experiences. Created in partnership with community member Suzanne Horvath, this volunteer-led initiative is fuelled by time-honoured traditions in the breast cancer space: giving back and supporting others.
During one-hour sessions, mentors and facilitators with lived experience will lead a virtual community circle, giving participants a gentle environment to ask questions and talk through some hard topics with a group of people who just get it and have been trained in peer support
Mentoring Matters sessions are not a replacement or space for therapy or medical advice. Always consult your medical team when making decisions about your treatment.
Learn more about peer support here.
Upcoming Mentoring Matters Support Sessions:
Questions you may have:
Who is Mentoring Matters for?
Mentoring Matters is for anyone who has received a breast cancer diagnosis and is looking for a space to connect and learn through the lived experiences of others in the breast cancer community.
What can I expect at a Mentoring Matters session?
Mentoring Matters sessions are virtual community circles that give participants space to share and ask questions about the breast cancer experience and receive support from their peers. Mentors and facilitators are volunteers who have completed peer support training.
All sessions will:
• Feature common topics in the breast cancer community that help shape and guide the discussion.
• Be hosted by a panel of peers (mentors and a facilitator) who have their own lived experience to draw from, sharing their stories and answering your questions.
• Have an open format, meaning the people in the group will guide how the session flows. Active participation is encouraged.
• Be a safe and inclusive space for everyone involved.
Where are they hosted?
Mentoring Matters sessions are virtual, hosted on Zoom in a private room. The link to the Zoom room is different each time and is only sent out to those who have registered for the session.
How can I prepare?
The success of a Mentoring Matters session depends on the group’s dedication to creating and upkeeping a safe and gentle environment for sharing. We have created a guide for how you can help contribute to a safe space for yourself and others, which can be accessed here. We really appreciate it if you can read the guide before attending!
Are Mentoring Matters sessions the same as Virtual Support Groups?
No. The main difference is that Mentoring Matters is led by trained peer support volunteers who have lived experience, whereas our Virtual Support Groups are led by psychotherapists and social workers from our Healing Collective. Mentoring Matters is a good place to get support from peers and build community and Virtual Support Groups are a good place to get professional psychosocial support and education.
Can I participate in both Virtual Support Groups and Mentoring Matters?
Yes! The support you get from each program will be different, but complementary. While some topics will be the same or similar between the programs, the approach and discussion will be different. Topics for sessions are communicated ahead of time, so you can choose what kind of support you need and from where, based on your personal need.
How can I find out about upcoming sessions and other Rethink programming?
Sign up here to receive Rethink’s emails and be the first to know about upcoming sessions and other programming. Our programming tends to fill up fast, and there is often a waitlist. Given the nature of these sessions and intention to connect, we do have to limit the number of seats available, but the sessions are ongoing, so we’re confident you’ll get in the next one!
What if I registered but can no longer join?
Please cancel your registration on Eventbrite so the next person in line on the waitlist can be notified and attend the session in your place! If you have any questions or trouble doing this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Back Story
Mentoring Matters was created in partnership with Suzanne Horvath, a member of the breast cancer community and Rethink Key Collaborator. In her words, here’s what inspired the idea for the program and why it’s a needed source of support for people who have a breast cancer experience.
When I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2016 my life changed. I felt alone, helpless and confused about every aspect of my life. It was not until I connected with others who shared my story that I realized their wisdom and experience could really help me gain perspective and hope. Helping and supporting others has always been a part of my life. As a wife, mom, and educator I found great joy in seeing others thrive with positive guidance. So as my health stabilized, I wanted to do more. Joining Rethink’s MBC Advisory Board allowed my voice to be heard and perspective brought to the forefront of the cancer landscape. Naturally, this advocacy gave me the honour of being a touchpoint to new folks entering the cancer space, and I was regularly asked to speak with a “friend of a friend” who was confused, alone, and scared just as I was in 2016.
Mentoring Matters was born from these experiences. Not everyone may know someone with cancer. What if they live in a remote community or can’t find someone to connect with? How can these people reach others when given this life-changing diagnosis? Mentoring Matters is not just about getting support. The act of giving support is just as important. Connecting us as a community gives us the opportunity to share valuable insights, allows us to be heard, and gives us hope and purpose. When I approached Rethink about my idea, I was happy to learn that they also saw a need and our collaboration began. We can all learn and grow together as we navigate what it means to be someone living with cancer.
If you have any questions about our support programming, including Mentoring Matters, please reach out to email@example.com