An introduction to peer support

Peer Support may be defined as the help and support that people with lived experience of anxiety, stress, mental illness or even a learning disability are able to give to one another either on a one to one, face to face, online or group basis. It may be social, emotional or practical support but importantly this support is mutually offered and reciprocal, allowing peers to benefit from the support whether they are giving or receiving it.

Key elements of Peer Support in mental health and wellbeing include that it is built on shared personal experience and empathy, it focuses on an individual’s strengths not weaknesses, and works towards the individual’s wellbeing and recovery.

Peer support is not new, it has been around for many years in the form of self-help and mutual support groups. Peer Support in its various forms has been a widely recognised and utilised resource that has been developing since the 1960s. In recent years there has been an increasing emphasis on the practical value of peer support here in the UK.

Research has shown that peer-run self-help groups yield improvement in psychiatric symptoms resulting in decreased hospitalisation, larger social support networks and enhanced self-esteem and social functioning.

Next steps

  • Why not consider joining one of our courses?
  • Or would one-to-one sessions be better for you?
  • OR, explore our Habit Journal, designed to get you to who and where you want to be in a matter of weeks.

For more details on these options, simply go to this page.