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What is Peer Support?
Being in recovery from mental health challenges is about living your life, finding your own purpose and fulfillment despite experiencing symptoms and a diagnosis. Peer Support can enhance your recovery journey as it is provided by others who are living in recovery and sharing their experience of hope, triumph, and resilience.
Mecklenburg’s PROMISE Peer Support Programs are operated by and for peers who demonstrate that recovery is possible and with support and opportunity, is probable.
Does Peer Support Work?
Peer support can greatly impact a person's confidence, self-advocacy skills, and employment and education aspirations.
The final report from the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health states, “studies show that consumer-run services and consumer providers can broaden access to peer support, engage more individuals in traditional mental health services, and serve as a resource in the recovery of people with a psychiatric diagnosis” (New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, 2003). The report goes on to describe how persons with psychiatric disabilities, because of their experiences, bring different attitudes, motivations and insights to mental health services (New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, 2003). The provision of mental health support services by persons who have experienced mental illnesses is the epitome of empathy, empowerment and, ultimately, recovery.
How Can Peer Support Help Me?
Peer Specialists have a unique role- they serve as mentors, supporters, and coaches in recovery. They are not clinicians, rather are partners with you on your own journey. Peer Specialists share with you information about what has helped and hindered in their own recovery and assists you in learning about yourself, trying new things, striving toward your dreams and hopes, and reclaiming your strength, confidence, and courage.
How Can I Connect to a Peer Mentor with MeckPROMISE?
Accessing a Peer Mentor (Specialist) is simple. Complete the Peer Connections Interest Form and either bring it to Mecklenburg's PROMISE, mail or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. To access the Peer Connections Interest Form,
Fenton et al., 1995 as cited in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute for Mental Health, 1999.
MHA. (2007). Position statement 37: The role of peer support services in the creation of recovery oriented mental health systems. Retrieved on July 12th, 2007 from http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/position-statements/p-52.
New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America. Final Report. DHHS Pub. No. SMA-03-3832. Rockville, MD: 2003.
Powell, 1994, Kurtz, 1997, Mowbray, et al., 1996 as cited in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute for Mental Health, 1999.
Sabin, J., Daniels, N. 2003. Strengthening the consumer voice in managed care: VII. The Georgia Peer Specialist Program. Psychiatric Services. Vol. 54 No. 4. pp 497-498.