What is Peer Support?

Information is taken from "Value of Peer Support", 2017,  SAMHS ​ More about the Value of Peer Support can be found here

What is Peer Support?

Peer support encompasses a  range of activities and interactions between people who share similar experiences of being diagnosed with mental health conditions, substance use disorders, or both. This mutuality is called “peerness”—between a  peer support worker and person in or seeking recovery promotes connection and inspires hope. Peer support offers a  level of acceptance, understanding, and validation not found in many other professional relationships (Mead & McNeil, 2006). By sharing their own lived experience and practical guidance, peer support  workers help people to develop their own goals, create strategies for self-­‐empowerment, and take concrete steps towards building fulfilling, self-­‐determined lives for themselves

What Does A Peer Support Worker Do?

A peer support worker is someone with the lived experience of recovery from a  mental health condition, substance use disorder, or both. They provide support to others experiencing similar challenges. They provide non-­‐clinical, strengths-­‐based support and are “experientially credentialed” by their own recovery journey (Davidson, et al., 1999).

Peer support workers:


inspire hope that  people can and do recover;

walk with people on their recovery journeys;    

dispel myths about  what  it  means to have a  mental health condition or substance use disorder; provide self-­‐help education and link people to tools and resources; and    

support  people in identifying their goals, hopes, and dreams, and creating a  roadmap

for getting there.

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