Peer support is about listening, sharing and helping. People, who have been there, help other people who are going through similar challenges and life situations.
Peers are individuals who share experiences, backgrounds and struggles. Peers are not necessarily friends but are people who can give support and maintain boundaries.
Peer support happens in different contexts:
- common mental health challenges
- addiction and substance abuse
- family and loss
- work and professional.
Read and share A big list of definitions of peer support!
- Mental Health Commission of Canada
- Self-Help Resource Centre
- Mental Health Innovations
- Len Wood’s poetic take on Peer Support
MHCC: “peer support is a supportive relationship between people who have a lived experience in common. The peer support worker provides emotional and social support to others who share a common experience.” – See more at: http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/issues/peer-support#sthash.F3UJOFMR.dpuf
The Self-Help Resource Centre defines peer support as “a process of sharing common experiences, situations or challenges. Peer support is an exchange of getting and giving support. It involves the practice of self-care and sharing “what works”. Peer Support is not based on medical models of illness and disorder, rather it is the provision of emotional, practical and informational supports by people with lived experiences, to cultivate mutual empowerment. Peer support initiatives are run by and for the participants.”
Mental Health Innovations (Talk with Sebastien Grenier)defines Workplace Mental Health Peer support: Peer support is based on a relationship between people who have a lived experience in common. In the case of Mental Health Peer Support the experience that individuals have in common is in relation to a mental health challenge or illness. …
Mental Health Peer Support is grounded in hopeful recovery and self-determination…
Peer support is not based on academic designations or professional roles but rather is about people offering empathetic support in a manner that empowers another to acquire a mastery over their own mental health recovery processes. Peer support is focussed on health and ability rather than illness and disability. Peer relationships are built around a deep mutual understanding and trust, and are not built on the basis of power differentials such as those found within a patient-doctor relationship.
Peersupportworks.ca focuses on peer support in work, professional and community environments.