Peer support has long been a critical part of mental healthcare and recovery from mental health illnesses. In the same way that we seek out others who have shared experiences, it can help those experiencing mental health challenges to connect with others who have walked a similar path and gotten through to the other side.

Peer support services can help extend the reach of clinical treatment into the everyday environment. Peer support has been shown to:

  • Improve quality of life,
  • Increase engagement and satisfaction with services and supports,
  • Improve whole health,
  • Decrease hospitalizations and inpatient days, and
  • Reduce the overall cost of services
Peers are people we identify with in one or more ways. Connecting with someone with lived experience with mental illness who had learned how to cope can give those beginning the journey the tools, support and encouragement needed to reach their goals and ultimately, achieve long-term recovery. To make the most of peer support, trust and compatibility are musts.

Sharing stories and life experiences, including vulnerabilities, makes peer supporters integral parts of an overall treatment plan. The human connection, once again, helps pave the way to a better, more fulfilling life.

The peer support movement