Making the Case for Peer Support


DUE NOVEMBER 13, 2014 at the beginning of class

(This assignment follows the CRF model)

Name: __________________________________ ID#: ____________________

Article Title: Making the Case for Peer Support

Page One.

Chapter’s Main Idea: peer support is beneficial for people with lived experiences of diverse mental health challenges

Written in full sentences

People suffering from mental conditions such as psychosis and schizophrenia get numerous benefits by talking to other people who have the same conditions. They are able to get the self-confidence they need to overcome their problems. Peer support reduces the need for other medical treatments and social services. Patients realize improved health and they experienced enhanced quality of life. Peer support enables them to reduce the intensity of the symptoms they experience. In addition, patients who engage in peer support have less need of hospitalization. Effective peer support programs help patients to develop skills, which puts them on the path of independence.

Peer support is founded on principles and values such as empowerment of the individuals, hope, and recovery. Other values such as independence, respect, responsibility, social action, dignity, and choice are also important. It can take place in diverse forms and professionals in the industry help the patients to identify the type of program that is suitable for them. Some patients will benefit from support groups while others will find one on one support more effective. Other forms include engaging in social activities and enterprises, recovery education, and advocacy services. The patients can choose to use services provided by faith-based organizations, local community based programs, or mental health services.

Other Important Ideas:

Not all communities have the same understanding of peer support. Aboriginals have their own programs that are equivalent to peer support. They emphasize the role of the family and the community in providing the needed support for those who are mentally ill. Some of the ceremonies and practices used include healing, use of sweat lodges, and sharing circles led by elders (42). Such programs help to improve the mental health of individuals, but they are not recognized by the government. The government does not recognize the expertise of the elders because they do not have western qualifications. People can use technology to their advantage to get the benefits of peer support. They can converse with other peers through technologies such as skype and other online videos, instant messaging, and interactive websites (38).  

The current idea of mental illnesses, which is based on recovery-based services, differs significantly from the traditional understanding. People with mental illnesses are supported by their families and communities. They are no longer shunned and ignored. They can decide to participate in the economy under different capacities. While the traditional approach to mental illness advocated for the use of hospitals and drugs, the current recovery based system, encourage the use of diverse treatments and therapies ranging from employment support and advocacy to education and peer support (32)

Important Definitions (and page numbers):

Mental health problems/challenges: the psychological conditions that affect peers or consumers (30)

Peers: people with lived experiences of mental health conditions (30)

Peer support is the type of support that is provided by peers and for peers. It can refer to any for of organized support that is provided by people suffering from mental illness for others who have the same condition (12).

Peer support initiatives: Programs, services, networks or agencies that provide peer support (30)

Shared experiences: the negative experiences that individuals suffer or the challenges they have (12)

Value based services: health services that are not considered evidence based because they lack considerable research, but which tend to be valued by consumers (22)

Recovery in mental health: a patient’s ability to live well despite presence or lack of mental conditions (24)

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