Peer support provides a safe space for those experiencing depression, addiction challenges, or several other mental/physical challenges to connect with others in recovery to provide connection and support. Those who facilitate peer support have lived experience and hold a peer support certification from an organization or state in which they live.
Peer support focuses on the individuals’ strengths, not weaknesses, as the individual works towards recovery. Peer support in nature is social and is mutual between the peers involved, allowing peers to benefit from the support whether they are giving or receiving help. Peer support providers are not mental health professionals; they function more like coaches who facilitate peer-to-peer coaching or peer support groups.
Peer Support Benefits
Peer support is proven to help those that are facing emotional and behavioral healthcare challenges.
First, Peer Support has been shown to improve the quality of life, increase and improve engagement with services, and increase whole health and self-management. (Mental Health America, 2018).
Second, Peer Support decreases the severity and frequency of depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental and emotional health challenges. Our studies have shown that video-based peer support meetings can reduce the severity of depression, for example, by 33%.
Third, multiple studies have demonstrated that peer support reduces hospital readmissions by as much as 72% resulting in significant cost savings for providers, payers, employers, and care management organizations.
The benefits of Peer Support are wide-ranging for those receiving the support, peer-support workers themselves, and the mental health system as a whole.
Who is Peer Support For?
Peer-support programs can help peers with the following issues:
- relationship problems
- chronic illnesses
For more on peer support and to join the HeyPeers platform, visit heypeers.com.