Peer support is an initiative carried by a certified peer specialist to help people recover from mental illness or substance abuse issues. A certified peer specialist is an occupational title accredited to a person who has lived his own mental health experiences. Using and sharing his similar lived experiences, a certified peer specialist helps other mentally ill patients achieve and retain their recovery goals.
Benefits of Peer Support:
Peer support can assist its participants both by emotional and practical support as it:
- Connects people with similar mental health complaints who seek help in their recovery or show interest in assisting others in recovery.
- Instills hope and optimism in such patients. In peer support programs, people show stern hope towards recovery after meeting with others who experience similar symptoms.
- Promotes sharing of inner thoughts without any judgment remarks from surrounding people.
- Develops coping skills and self-confidence to get through the recovery phase and psychological distress of the condition.
- Structures alternative social networks by fostering new friendships and relations with other participants.
- Refines communication skills by peer listening, discussions, and talks.
- Encourages participation in mutual support programs.
- Moreover, peer support program also gives access and develop linkages to the agencies which provide specialized services for specified conditions such as mental health issues, AIDS, and situations related to the criminal justice system
How does peer support work?
Peer support program brings together people with similar mental health conditions under the direct advice of a certified peer specialist who shares his past experiences with the similar condition and assists the participants at an individual level to cope with their conditions. In outcome, participants set their recovery goals, checkpoints and structuralize action plans after discussions among them or with the peer specialist. Moreover, problems related to implementing these plans are also overcome by mutual support, such as finding housing, fostering new relations, and improving job skills.
“Though it is not a direct alternative to natural supports, peer support unfolds skills which are necessary to identify and develop natural resources or strengths to cope with the mental health condition or substance abuse.”
Our certified peer specialists provide highly organized peer support programs that have proved their efficiency in preserving and promoting mental health of the community.
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