By Alejandro Ramos
Let's talk about peer support.
Peer support is a powerful but often overlooked approach for mental health support and recovery. It involves evidence-based practices that provide alternatives for folks that have been maligned by mental health support rooted in the medical model. That's why we want to share a little bit about peer support and give you an introduction into how it works. By the end of this post, you'll be more informed on the matter and hopefully consider exploring it further as a way to find support.
What is a peer support group?
A peer support group is one made up of peers, or individuals that share similar experiences with a particular challenge or circumstance. Here at PEERS, for example, our groups are made of peers that have lived mental health experiences or have a loved one with lived mental health experiences. These groups meet regularly to talk through events, share tips, and support one another.
How can peer support help me?
Peer support can be very effective in helping you improve your quality of life. Peer support has been shown to increase hope and self-esteem in participants. Additionally, participating in peer support groups can reduce reliance on formal medical services, which means less time in hospitals and lower costs.
Finally, peer support can help you feel supported and included since your peers will share similar experiences to yours.
Which challenges can peer support groups address?
Peer support groups can address a variety of different topics, including but not limited to:
How can I find a peer support group?
There are a couple of ways to find a peer support group that best fits you. You could start by reaching out to your primary care or mental health care provider.
Health fairs are also a great way to find out about peer support organizations. You can meet their staff in person, ask them questions, and learn about their offerings.
Lastly, you can also try using a search engine like Google to find a support group. Just type in “peer support groups near me” or “peer support groups in (insert your city here)”.
Hopefully, this helped answer some of your questions and dispel any doubts you had regarding support groups. They can be super helpful and impactful for anyone embarking on a recovery journey.
If you think you’re ready but still need a little more help, we can help. Just send us a quick email at email@example.com or give us a call at (510) 832-7337. We’re more than happy to answer more of your questions and help you get started with finding support.