What is Peer Support?
Peer support is a process through which people who share common experiences or face similar challenges come together as equals to give and receive help based on the knowledge that comes through shared experience. This sharing of lived experiences is what makes peer support real, impactful, and successful.
Peer support can take on many forms: one-on-one in-person support, phone calls, text messaging, support group meetings, home visits, going for walks together, and much more.
People engaging in peer support can help others experiencing similar situations. By sharing our lived experience, wellness tools, strength, and hope in a mutual peer-to-peer setting, significant impacts on our beliefs about recovery and emotional wellness can occur.
Peer-to-peer support encourages people to find their own self-determined paths to wellness. It enhances life skills and can aid someone in reframing life’s challenges. It encourages resilience and helps people acknowledge opportunities for personal growth.
Mutual connections and trusting relationships are built through the sharing of life experiences, which help people feel less lonely in their struggles.
Engaging in peer-to-peer support increases community engagement and integration. This helps people find their communities of choice. It fosters a sense of awareness about mental health and helps to reduce the effects of stigma.
Lived experience of trauma, diagnosed mental health conditions, and/or substance misuse challenges facilitates a different kind of knowledge about ourselves.
Sharing our stories and wellness tools show the possibility of recovery, and this can bring a sense of hope, meaning, and purpose to people’s lives.