Peer Support: Relationships with clinicians

4.2 Relationships with clinicians: Two salient issues for peer supporters are the relationship they have with clinicians, and the attitude of clinicians towards peer support. When asked what are the main issues for peer support, almost two thirds of our participants mentioned the need for more recognition of peer support from clinicians and funders. A very large number of participants said that the attitude of clinicians had been a constraint in their work; these problems seem to partially stem from clinicians’ lack of knowledge about peer support, although some people also pointed to stigma and discrimination. However, a number of participants said their relationships with clinicians have improved dramatically as they have developed their services. When peer support is practiced within clinical settings, it has led not just to greater acceptance for peer support, but also to a difference in the way that clinicians think about service users and their recovery in general.

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