Peer Support Program

Diabetes Hope Foundation


What is the Value of Peer Support?
Peer support is based on values: hope & recovery; self-determination; empathetic & equal relationships; dignity, respect & social inclusion; integrity, authenticity & trust; health and wellness, and; lifelong learning and personal growth.

How does the DHF meet these values with our Peer Support Program?
In 2017, Diabetes Hope Foundation developed the Peer Support – T1D Buddy program to support the need for mentorship and guidance outside of the family or clinical atmosphere, so that youth ages 13-18 years can talk to other youth who are “Just like them” and have experienced what they are going through.

The goal of the program is to match teens who have diabetes, ages 13 to 18, with a type 1 buddy to provide social and emotional support while they are transitioning or waiting to access diabetes and other pediatric healthcare services. Mentors who provide peer support are between the ages of 19 and 25 who have completed (1) Mental Health First Aid certification; (2) Emotional Intelligence Training; (3) Compassionate Fatigue training; and (4) Leadership Training delivered by the Canadian Mental Health Commission and the MOOD Disorders Association of Ontario.

Buddies can talk about anything they want to from accepting their disease, following their treatment plans and developing more positive relations with the families and peers. Through the support of our community partners and sponsors, youth will receive virtual peer support through our team of volunteer type 1 buddies.

What Kind of Training Will My Type 1 Buddy Have?
Your T1D Buddy will be JUST LIKE YOU — a young adult living with type 1 diabetes. Our T1D Buddies have all transitioned into adult care and college/university, and want to support you in making your transition next year. All of Diabetes Hope Foundation’s Type 1 Buddies have received training in crisis support, leadership development, emotional intelligence and compassionate fatigue training.

What Will I Talk to My T1D Buddy About?
ANYTHING! Youth can speak to their T1D Buddies about ANYTHING — sports, hobbies, diabetes, challenges with school, problems they’re having with friends, parents, girlfriend/boyfriend etc.

All mentor/mentee connections will be moderated by our program coordinator, and the identity of the teens and mentors will remain confidential and anonymous.

Special thank you to our 2022 program supporters: Aubrey & Marla Dan Foundation, Fluidhose & Coupling Inc., Novo Nordisk Canada and Park n Fly.

Watch video to find out more


How are youth matched?

STEP 1: Youth will fill out an online application which gets automatically sent to the Program Coordinator. Youth who are under 16, will be asked to get their Parent/Guardian to sign a program consent form

STEP 2: The Program Coordinator reaches out to the youth, thanking them for the application and asks them for their TOP 2 T1D Buddies to connect with.

STEP 3: A team lead reaches out to the selected T1D Buddy letting them know there is a match

STEP 4: T1D Buddy then responds agreeing to be paired with the youth

STEP 5: The Program Coordinator makes a virtual introduction between the T1D Buddy and youth and from there, the T1D Buddy facilitates communication through email eventually meeting virtually via Zoom

Please note that your Type 1 Buddy is not a medical health professional and the peer support relationship is not a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. The role of the volunteer Type 1 Buddy is to provide interim peer emotional support and the information provided by my mentor is a resource only, and is not be used or relied on for medical treatment purposes.


Register online for the program