Since its origins during the late 1980s, the use of peer specialists in traditional mental health agencies has grown tremendously. There are now an estimated 30,000 people with psychiatric histories employed in such positions across the country.1 The term “peer specialist” was coined nearly 30 years ago in aContinue Reading Spreading hope behind prison walls and in the darkest places of restricted housing-that’s the goal of a new peer support program at the Nebraska State Penitentiary. It allows inmates to help other inmates deal with substance abuse, mental health and other challenges. Many of the inmate volunteers are someContinue Reading Personal choice For each person the journey of mental distress or addiction and how they achieve recovery, is unique; this means services need to be responsive to a range of needs; peer support has the flexibility to achieve this. Wanted by consumers Has been driven by consumers of servicesContinue Reading The definition of facilitate is “to make easy” or “ease a process.” What a facilitator does is plan, guide and manage a group event to ensure that the group’s objectives are met effectively, with clear thinking, good participation and full buy-in from everyone who is involved. To facilitate effectively,Continue Reading In a world first, La Trobe University research has shown how peer-led support programs for family and friends who provide regular support to an adult diagnosed with a mental health condition can significantly improve carer well-being. When carers were surveyed at the completion of the eight-week program, researchers found:Continue Reading Peer-support involves people who have recovered from gambling addiction, and is a service that health advocates say has been missing for a long time. “Outcomes from peer services are as good as if not better than conventional services, yet there currently are no funded peer-support positions within gambling harmContinue Reading

This makes sense, as elegantly put by Brené Brown: ‘If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.’ One of the key things that is lacking on so many social networks is understanding and empathy. Peer support can be very powerful, butContinue Reading