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Peer Support

What is Peer Support?

Offering and receiving help, based on

  • Shared understanding

  • Respect

  • Mutual empowerment

Between people in similar situations

Peer Support is Recognized as an Evidence Based Practice

Research suggests that peer support has a transformative impact on both individuals and systems. The data shows that peer support:

  • Improves quality of life

  • Improves engagement and satisfaction with services and supports

  • Decreases hospitalizations and inpatient stays

  • Lowers overall costs of services

  • Improves whole health, including physical health


Peer Support Specialists

  • People who have been successful in the recovery process and who have received training to help others experiencing similar situations.

  • Through shared understanding, respect, and mutual empowerment, peer support workers help people become and stay engaged in the recovery process and reduce the likelihood of relapse.

  • Peer support services can effectively extend the reach of treatment beyond the clinical setting into the everyday environment of those seeking a successful, sustained recovery process.


What do Peer Support Workers do?

  • Inspire hope that people can and do recover. 1 SAMHSA Definition 2 Mental Health America

  • Walk with people on their recovery journeys.

  • Dispel myths about what it means to have a mental health condition or substance use disorder.

  • Provide self-‐help education and link people to tools and resources; and

  • Support people in identifying their goals, hopes, and dreams, and creating a roadmap for getting there.


Peer Respite Centers

A peer respite is a voluntary, short-term, overnight program that provides communitybased, non-clinical crisis support to help people find new understanding and ways to move forward. It operates 24 hours per day in a homelike environment. Successful peer respites are currently operating in California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

A directory of Peer Respite Centers 

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