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What is peer support for people with mental illness?

Tina Whitlock
Fitness
A peer support is someone who has progressed in their own recovery from mental illness and or addiction and who is willing to disclose their life experiences to guide and empower others in their own recovery.  Peer support is the evidence that recovery is possible.
The term 'peer support' is used in the mental health sector to describe a wide range of programmes, but at its core is the idea of one mental health consumer giving support to a fellow consumer. Peer support can be both an alternative, and a complement, to traditional mental health services. Programmes vary considerably and will normally be negotiated between the two individuals. Peer support workers commonly assist with understanding and living with mental illness, with emotional support, following goals, and helping to re-establish social networks.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.