What exactly is Animo, and how can it benefit me?

Animo is a transformative online peer support initiative that helps you develop a better relationship with your emotions, yourself, and others.

  1. Meet-Up Schedule: We gather online every week.
  2. Program Timeline: Our journey together spans 10 enlightening weeks.
  3. Guidance: Every session is led by a skilled peer facilitator to ensure structured yet empathetic discussions.
  4. Approach: We use an insightful workbook as our roadmap, tailored for small group settings.
  5. Wellness Spectrum: Our workbook delves deep into promoting physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social harmony.
  6. Personal Narratives: Beyond the workbook, participants enrich discussions with their personal stories, fostering a culture of mutual learning.

Animo is more than just a support group. It’s a sanctuary where you gain tangible life tools and immerse yourself in shared wisdom, empowering every facet of your well-being and nurturing profound connections. Animo is suitable for anyone age 16 years and up.

Is Animo therapy?

While Animo is not a replacement for therapy, it certainly complements many therapeutic practices. The tools and strategies discussed in Animo’s sessions are often introduced in therapeutic settings. What sets Animo apart is the dynamic of peer support. In our small group environments, members share their real-world experiences of applying these tools in their lives. You’re not just hearing from people who’ve learned these strategies; you’re connecting with those who’ve lived them. It’s this shared journey, rooted in empathy and understanding, that makes Animo a uniquely enriching experience. In our community, we don’t just learn; we uplift each other.

Where did the name Animo come from?

Animo is an empowering word in several languages, and it isn’t easily translated. It expresses encouragement and reassurance, and it encompasses the body, mind, and spirit of an individual. One of the meanings is courage, the word engraved on a rock that Jordan carried with him, and Emilee now carries with her. Jordan was Emilee’s animo – during the best years of their lives and during her recovery from losing him in such a tragic way. Now, Emilee is sharing Animo with the world.

How is my privacy protected?

Our peer facilitators ensure that confidentiality is discussed and maintained. In the very first session, the group works together to brainstorm the ground rules that will support the sense of safety for the group. This “group container” will be revisited a few times over the 10 weeks. Our peer facilitators ensure that confidentiality is discussed and maintained. When you sign up for Animo, you will be agreeing to follow certain ground rules to protect the privacy and confidentiality of your peers. Animo does not collect personal medical information.

Can I stay anonymous?

While Animo encourages honesty in communication in your group, we understand that you may want to use non-identifying information. We do not collect any personal information and you are welcome to use a nickname rather than your real name.

How does Animo help?

Equipping ourselves with tools so we can assess and adjust our lives in effective ways will give us confidence and allow us to live a life that aligns with what we value. Getting this fulfilment out of life will benefit you and your relationships. We don’t know what we don’t know. These wellness tools don’t come naturally to us, and if we haven’t been taught how to cope with certain feelings or experiences, we can quickly meet the end of our rope.

Who can join Animo?

Anyone can join Animo. If you recognize that you ‘d like to have more connection in life and feel more hopeful and optimistic, Animo is for you. You don’t need to have a mental health diagnosis or meet any other criteria to benefit from Animo.

How much does Animo cost? How do I pay?

The 10-week program of Animo is $384, which includes a two-hour group learning session each week, your workbook, and access to an ongoing group chat throughout the program and for as long as you want to stay connected afterwards.

Can Animo substitute for therapy?

Animo is not a substitute for therapy, medical, or psychiatric care. If you are under the care of a therapist, counsellor, or medical professional, Animo can help by giving you a place to share with and learn from others who are experiencing the same kinds of challenges in their lives.

What are the benefits of peer support?                                   

The Canadian Mental Health Association reports that individuals who work with peers will experience improvements in social support and quality of life.

Over 75% of peers found that having peer support:

  • Helped them be more hopeful about their life.
  • Gave them more confidence to tell health providers what they need.
  • Helped them deal more effectively with crises in their life.
  • Helped them get connected to appropriate support services.
  • Improved their ability for self-care.
  • Decreased their need for emergency and crisis services.
  • Improved their experience with mental health and addiction services.

(Centre for Innovation in Peer Support)

Can I be reimbursed by my insurance plan?

Each plan is different, but many insurance plans have flex-spending accounts that will cover the cost of Animo. You will be provided with a receipt for reimbursement.

How do I know if Animo can help me?

If it has ever crossed your mind that life could be easier—Animo helps. You don’t need to be desperate to join an Animo peer support group, but it’s okay if do.

What do I get when I sign up for Animo?

When you join Animo, you’ll receive

  • ten weeks of virtual education and support in your small group
  • real-time sessions via a private Discord group
  • support via chat between sessions and after the program is done
  • a comprehensive personal workbook
  • a set of Pocket Meditations, and
  • an Animo pocket stone.