What are peer services?
Peer support services provide an opportunity for consumers who have achieved significant recovery to assist others in their recovery journeys. Peer specialists model recovery, teach skills, and offer supports to help people experiencing mental health challenges lead meaningful lives in the community. Peer specialists promote recovery; enhance hope and social networking through role modeling; and supplement existing treatment with education, empowerment, and aid while working through the mental health system (Optum Health, n.d).
At Mental Health America of Northeast Indiana, peer services include advocacy and mentoring, support groups, and Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) classes.
Why are peer services important?
People with mental illness who are helped by peers tend to experience more thorough and longer-lasting recoveries (Vestal, 2013). Additionally, research shows that the use of peer specialists allows states to save mental health program dollars by reducing hospitalizations and other emergency interventions and increases involvement in community events and organizations.
Optum Health, (n.d.). Enhancing consumer-centered recovery: Building programs, finding solutions, and expanding services. Retrieved from website: CLICK HERE
Vestal, C. (2013, September 11). “Peers” seen easing mental health worker shortage. Kaiser Health News. Retrieved from website: CLICK HERE