WHAT IS PEER SUPPORT?
Peer support provides a link between a trained person with the “lived experience” of a behavioral health issue and a member who has the same issue. Peer support services can include:
- Self-help support groups
- Peer counsel
- Social support
- Support at a crisis center
- Support at a drop-in center
- Support at a clubhouse
We believe that peer support matters! The role of a peer support worker enhances but does not replace the role of a therapist, case manager, or other member of a treatment team.
Here are some brochures that explain peer support services:
- Family Peer Support
- Peer Support for Substance Use Disorders
- Roles of Peer Specialists
- Value of Peer Support
WHAT ARE THE OUTCOMES FOR PEER SPECIALISTS?
Our Members who received peer support were asked to provide their feedback. Here are some of their results:
- 91% of Members believe that the time they spent in a Peer Program was worth their time.
- 86% of Members had an overall improvement with the support of the Peer Program.
- 71% of Members who had a relationship with a peer specialist felt more hopeful about their future.
Peers for Progress report that peer support reduces symptoms of depression. Other studies from Health and Human Services showed that Members had better health outcomes. These outcomes include quality of life, connection with community, engagement, and friendships.
HOW CAN I BECOME A PEER SPECIALIST?
You can talk with your mental health center staff about their program and training or call your regional organization and speak with the Office of Member and Family Affairs. Someone would love to help you.
There is also a credential program for Peer Specialists. Please see Peer Credentialing Information.