A modern way to make a supportive match

GillianA new tool to match peer support volunteers with people affected by cancer has helped relaunch the CCS telephone peer support program.

The peer support program – formerly known as CancerConnection in some provinces – invites clients to fill out an online form about their cancer experience and what they would like to talk about. Trained peer support volunteers also fill out a similar form. Clients then search for a volunteer by selecting criteria that are important to them and are presented with a list of volunteers who match their criteria. The client can choose who they want to be matched with from the list of volunteers. Once a client and peer support volunteer have been matched online, the rest of the exchange will continue over the phone.

Gillian Morris, a peer support volunteer and ovarian cancer survivor, knows how important it is to be matched accurately and thinks that the matching process is very well designed.

“Different clients need different things from their peer support volunteers,” says Gillian, who lives in Montreal, Quebec, but supports clients from all over the country. “The new online matching tool gives the caller more control over who they speak to. They can go into a conversation knowing more about their peer support volunteer and having an added layer of comfort.”

“The ability to have peer support volunteers share something about their personality, cancer experience and strengths will ensure the client gets the most out of the call,” says Gillian.

A cancer diagnosis can leave you feeling like your world has been turned upside down. If you’d like to talk to someone who has been there, visit match.cancer.ca.