What are peer support specialists?
Peer support specialists bring hope by sharing their experiences and promoting a sense of belonging.Peer support has existed in the behavioral health field for decades; however, its rapid growth in recent years in due to the increasing evidence supporting its effectiveness. Peer support specialist use their experience to:
- Establish positive rapport.
- Serve as a pro-social model.
- Offer insight to the individual’s care team.
- Provide support focused on advocacy, coaching, and mentoring.
Peer support is effective, and can:
- Improve quality of life.
- Improve whole health, including conditions like diabetes.
- Improve engagement and satisfaction with services and supports.
- Decrease hospitalizations and inpatient stays.
- Reduce health care costs.
Recovery is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.
- Health: Choices that support one’s overall well-being.
- Home: A safe and stable place to live.
- Purpose: Meaningful daily activities, such as job, school, or volunteering.
- Community: Relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship and love.