The Peer Support Specialist can offer hope, strength friendship and compassion to individuals and/or groups toward recovery goals from mental health issues.
A trend has emerged in delivery and funding of mental health services during the last decade toward increased consumer involvement in treatment planning and decision-making. The 2003 President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health emphasized the philosophy of recovery as a person-centered approach focused on education, illness management, personal responsibility, self-advocacy and empowerment.
Peer Support Services are delivered by Peer Support Specialists who have lived experiences in mental health and who are trained in a recovery-based, empowerment model that embraces the strengths of the individual being served in order to achieve his/her goals.
Peer Support Services are not meant to replace traditional mental health treatment and services, but can function as part of the mental health professional team in offering one-to-one support, and staffing recovery centers.