Sometimes, the best person to help is someone who’s been there.
Peer Support is aimed at adults with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI), and is provided by an adult consumer who is well along the ongoing path of recovery, and who has undergone certification training. The Peer Support Specialist helps others in their quest for recovery.
The focus is on rehabilitation and recovery by helping a consumer develop coping skills, finding techniques for managing their psychiatric symptoms, learning how to find support services in the community, and learning independent living skills. The Peer Support Specialist also helps the consumer develop a network for information and support from others who have been through similar experiences.
A Certified Peer Specialist is someone who has also experienced a psychiatric diagnosis at some time in his or her life and can…
- Show clients how they use community resources
- Connect clients with other consumers and consumer run organizations
- Help clients find mutual support groups
- Offer peer support as clients try new things in the community
- Encourage clients to use their own words and ideas as they develop goals and plans
- Show clients how they handle challenges and help them find their own way
- Help clients get more involved in directing their services
Peer Support is an effective way to promote recovery
- Peer-provided services decrease hospitalizations up to 73%
Participants gain control over their lives
- 95% of those receiving peer support in the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance reported better communication with their doctors.
What Peer Support cannot do:
- Give money to clients or make purchases for them
- Accept money or gifts from clients
- Go to movies or watch TV with clients
- Do things or go places that do not fit into the objectives/goals on a client’s treatment plan
- Give out personal phone numbers or addresses
- Stay, if a client has visitors (family or friends) that are not directly related to an objective/goal
- Stay, if a client is unwilling to work on the objectives/goals outlined in their treatment plan
- Take a client out of county without prior authorization
- Stay, if a client is being verbally or physically threatening or aggressive
- Do the work for the client
- Peer Support can transport, but will focus on helping clients develop their own resources for this. Excessive requests will be denied.