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Peer Support

Peer Support Specialists use their own unique, lived experience to guide and support others who are working on their own mental health recovery. Peer Support Specialists strive to develop meaningful and trusting relationships with patients, acting as a mentor. As someone who is successfully managing their own recovery, Peer Support Specialists provide patients an example of what they can strive for in their recovery.

What is Peer Support?

Peer support is a dynamic and valuable approach that fosters individuals’ growth and well-being by leveraging the power of shared experiences. It entails creating an environment where individuals facing similar challenges come together to provide empathetic listening, encouragement, and practical guidance. The essence of peer support lies in its foundation of mutual understanding and respect, as peers draw strength from one another’s journeys towards recovery or personal development. Through active engagement in group discussions, one-on-one conversations, or online platforms specifically designed for this purpose, participants can find solace in knowing they are not alone in their struggles. Peer support operates on the belief that those who have lived through similar experiences possess unique insights into navigating obstacles effectively. This empowering exchange facilitates a sense of belonging while promoting self-advocacy and empowerment among individuals seeking assistance. Moreover, it plays a vital role within diverse communities by breaking down stigmas associated with mental health issues or other life challenges. By offering invaluable emotional validation and practical strategies for coping with various difficulties, peer support is an inclusive approach dedicated to enhancing overall well-being through genuine human connection and shared wisdom.

Models of Peer Support

The power of peer support lies in connecting people with shared experiences

There are several ways in which peer support can happen, meaning it can be tailored to people’s needs in the right place, at the right time.

Online and telephone support

Sometimes people find it best to connect online or on the telephone; one conversation might be all it takes to help a person start to feel better.

Online and telephone support

Sometimes people find it best to connect online or on the telephone; one conversation might be all it takes to help a person start to feel better.

Informal group support

Groups with shared common interests often come together to offer each other peer support, for example, gardening or crafting clubs.

Formal group support

Formal, commissioned support groups offer more structured support, for example, perinatal mental health, or addiction support groups.

Testimonial

Client Feedback

Here are some positive reviews from some of our clients over the past year.

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Finding Professional Help

If you're experiencing difficulties with your mental well-being, which are impacting your daily life and relationships, seeking professional help is a wise decision.

There are several options available to address your specific concerns and receive the support you need:

Schedule a discussion with your primary care physician to discuss your situation and obtain referrals to specialized resources for gender identity or mental health.

Consider seeking therapy from a qualified provider such as Calm Waters Counseling.

Inquire with your employer about any potential support programs like mentoring or peer support groups.

Reach out to local LGBTIQA+ organizations, which may offer support through group sessions, drop-ins, or mentorship programs.

Most Popular Questions

Questions that clients ask us frequently

It is a range of activities and interactions between individuals with similar experiences of being diagnosed with mental health conditions that constitute peer support1. The mutuality between a peer worker and a person using services—called "peerness"—inspires hope and connection.

Peer work appears to be a safe, effective, flexible and cost-effective intervention for adults, which promotes hope, empowerment, patient activation, self-efficacy, and reduces hospitalizations.

While mental health practitioners typically have formal and professional education in psychology or mental health, mental health peer support workers typically require only coursework in peer support.

Peer support programs also serve to bridge the gap in mental health services use. Conclusions: Peer support programs are a potential mental health intervention to reduce organizational stress and trauma for COs. The first step in developing such programs is to understand the facilitators and barriers to PSPs.