Hope + Me - Mood Disorders Association of Ontario Volunteer Speakers' Bureau Program - "Peer Talk"

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Hope + Me - MDAO is pleased to open the second phase of recruitment for our Volunteer Speakers' Bureau Program, "Peer Talk". 

Participants in the program will speak from their personal, lived experiences with mental illnesses, or from their experience of supporting someone with a mental illness. Sharing stories about mental illness helps to inspire others and highlights our organization's vision that people with mood disorders and their families receive the help that they need to recover and heal. 

Hope + Me - MDAO is committed to raising awareness and conveying hope in schools, workplaces, and communities through Peer Talk, and are seeking dynamic and authentic speakers that will promote empathy and hope and empower resiliency through their speeches and presentations.

Training will be provided to all volunteers through participation in our Peer Talk Toastmasters club. Toastmasters International is dedicated to providing a supportive and positive learning experience through which members are empowered to develop valuable communication and leadership skills that will benefit their personal and professional lives. The club meets twice monthly on alternating Wednesday and Thursday evenings and meetings provide opportunities for members to:

  • Present both impromptu and prepared speeches
  • Learn how to plan and manage meetings
  • Give and receive constructive feedback
  • Participate in a comprehensive, self-paced education program.
  • Work with fellow club members within a friendly, supportive, engaging and inspiring environment
  • Gain greater self-confidence by managing a dynamic array of tasks and responsibilities

Graduates of the program will have the opportunity to hone their skills further by representing the organization and delivering presentations and speeches within the community. 

Successful applicants will gain 6 months Toastmasters sponsorship from Hope+Me - MDAO. The sponsorship will include the organization covering all Toastmasters International fees for the first 6 months, as well as members gaining access to comprehensive and engaging online learning resources. Additionally, successful applicants will go through the process of becoming a full fledged Hope+Me - MDAO Volunteer, and will have the opportunity to contribute to the organization in other ways. 

(Please note - there is a one time $20 venue rental fee per member in order to help us secure the space for the meetings)

We encourage youth, family members, caregivers, members of the LGBTQ+ community, seniors and others from all walks of life to take part in the application process to apply for a coveted spot within Peer Talk!

To get the application process started, please take a few minutes to fill out the application form below or by clicking here             (Note: Google account required). Alternatively, click here to access a fillable PDF form that you may complete and e-mail to Program Coordinator Omar Ansari. 

If you are having difficulties with accessing either form and/or for all other inquiries, please contact the Peer Talk Program Coordinator - Omar Ansari, at omara@mooddisorders.ca

Please note: In order to gain the 6 months Toastmasters sponsorship from Hope + Me - MDAO, we require a minimum of an 18 month volunteering commitment; 6 months of regularly attending club meetings, and a further 12 months conducting speaking engagements for Hope + Me - MDAO. 

Applicant Information

Please note that you must be at least 18 years of age in order to be a member of Peer Talk.

Applicant Background, Experience and Motivations

If you answered “No” to the above question, please consider reapplying to volunteer with Peer Talk 6 months after receiving services as a client/participant of Hope + Me - MDAO.

Lived Experience

One of the hallmarks of Peer Talk will be the ability to inspire hope and raise awareness through speakers sharing their own experiences living with or supporting others with mental illness.

In the space below, briefly describe your lived experience as it pertains to mental health.


Peer Talk meetings take place twice a month on alternating Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 7:15 - 8:45 PM. There may be other social and community of practice meetings at other times, please indicate your full availability below.

As mentioned, meetings run twice per month - so there will be a total of 12 meetings over the 6 month period.


Please list 3 references, including at least one professional/academic reference, and their contact information below:

Please try to ensure that your resume is in PDF format.

Please note: If you are currently working as a mental health professional, we might not be able to process your volunteer application in order to avoid a potential conflict of interest.