Benefits of development of the peer workforce

Peer work benefits the people who use the service, the peer worker and the organisation. The formal evidence in both mental health and addiction is growing and shows high satisfaction from services that use all kinds of peer support as well as positive outcomes for people who receive peer services. Outcomes from peer services are as good if not better than conventional services
Indications for service users include:
• reduced symptoms and or substance use
• reduced use of health services, including hospitals
• improvements in practical outcomes, for example employment, housing and finances
• increased sense of self-efficacy
• increased social support, networks and functioning
• increased ability to cope with stress
• improved quality of life
• increased ability to communicate with mainstream providers
• reduced mortality rates, particularly for suicide in people with addiction.

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