What are peer support specialists?
Peer support specialists utilize their lived experience to assist others on their journey to recovery and wellness. One’s recovery journey and lived experience can be from numerous realms such as substance use disorders, mental health disorders, brain injuries etc.
Through shared understanding and mutual empowerment, peer support workers help others become and stay engaged in the recovery process by using their lived experience, and skills learned in formal Peer Support training. Peer Services focus on long-term recovery and wellness, and are rooted in a culture of hope, health, and wellness.
Peer Support Services are essential ingredients in developing a recovery-oriented system, and go beyond the reduction or elimination of symptoms to encompass self-actualization, community, and overall wellness.
Peer support specialist use their lived experience to:
- Inspire hope
- Mentor and assist with setting goals
- Share resources and build skills
- Create strategies for self-empowerment
- Providing valuable extensions to care teams
- Provide support focused on advocacy, coaching, and mentoring
Peer Support specialists also create a valuable extension to care teams within agencies by:
- Providing valuable whole health recovery experience insight
- Assisting in fostering recovery dialogue throughout the agency
- Providing perspectives on barriers and wellness
- Leading recovery groups
- To formalize the gifts of Peer Support services, the Human Services Behavioral Health Division offers a 40 Hour core competency Peer Support training
To formalize the gifts of Peer Support services, the Human Services Behavioral Health Division offers a 40 Hour core competency Peer Support training:
Some topics covered in the formal training are:
- Boundaries and ethics
- Person-centered care
- Shared decision making
- The Role of a Peer Support Specialist
- Using ones recovery story effectively
- Effective Listening
Peer Services Resources
Peer support is effective, and can:
- Improve quality of life and life satisfaction
- Increase social support and social functioning
- Improve whole health, including conditions like diabetes.
- Improve engagement and satisfaction with services and supports.
- Decrease hospitalizations and healthcare costs
Curious what the Peer Support Specialist Code of Ethics consists of?
Want to network with other peer support specialists?
Contact Kristy Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spread the Word
Download or order Peer Support rack cards.