PEERS is a diverse community of people with mental health experiences. Our mission is to promote innovative peer-based wellness strategies. We create culturally-rich, community-based mental health programs that honor diverse experiences and eliminate stigma and discrimination.
We envision a world where people can freely choose among many mental health options that address the needs of the whole person. We see a future where people with mental health experiences are valued for their essential contributions to society.
Hope, Collaboration, Strengths-based, Cultural Responsiveness, Lived Experience, Peer support, Social Inclusion, Self-determination, Empowerment, and Personal Responsibility.
History of Peers
Tracy Thode Founds PEERS
Dissatisfied with the lack of peer services and collaborative approaches for mental health care, Tracy Thode, then a student at California State University Hayward, creates Peers Envisioning and Engaging in Recovery Services.
WRAP Program Begins
PEERS begins using the Wellness Recovery Action Plan for helping consumers take control of their own wellbeing.
Prop 63 Passes
California Proposition 63 passes, providing a significant funding increase for mental health providers at the county level, including PEERS.
Partnership With POCC Begins
PEERS begins collaborating with the Pool of Consumer Champions — a partnership that continues to this day.
Anti-Stigma And Discrimination Campaign
In conjunction with Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services, PEERS starts work on a “Social Inclusion” campaign aimed at decreasing stigma and increasing community participation for mental health consumers. This effort eventually grows into the Everyone Counts Campaign.
Media And Communications Department Begins
PEERS’ award-winning Media and Communications program starts work. This program will eventually produce Shine, Mental Health Matters, Stories of Recovery, and other video and audio projects.
Mental Health And Wellness Radio Wins Award
The Mental Health and Wellness Radio episode “‘Dark Girls’ Documentary and the Psychological Effects of Colorism” wins a New American Media Award.
PEERS Releases “Shine” A Documentary Film
Shine, a film focusing on TAY who have recovered from mental health challenges born from trauma, was an official selection of the 2014 Oakland International Film Festival.
WRAP Around The World Conference
PEERS hosts 450 attendees for the International WRAP Around the World Conference. This conference focuses on empowering consumers through the self-directed care approach of the Wellness Recovery Action Plan.
Congressional Commendation From Barbara Lee
PEERS honored with congressional commendation from U.S. Representative Barbara Lee for our valuable work in the East Bay community.
TAY Program Hosts ‘Let’s Talk Transitions’ Summit
PEERS’ Transition Age Youth program hosts the “Let’s Talk Transitions: Sharing Resources to Revolutionize Mental Health for Youth and Young Adults” two day summit.
TAY Program Wins Young Minds Advocacy Award
PEERS TAY Leadership Team wins “Young Leaders Award” for hosting “Let’s Talk Transitions” summit the previous year.
Mental Health Consumer Movement History Event
PEERS hosts an event in conjunction with the Pool of Consumer Champions (POCC) that reflects on PEERS’ role in the larger Mental Health Consumer Movement and the history of the organization. Former staff and board members are in attendance.