This article offers one theoretical perspective of peer support and attempts to define the elements that, when reinforced through education and training, provide a new cultural context for healing and recovery. Persons labeled with psychiatric disability have become victims of social and cultural ostracism and consequently have developed a sense of self that re-enforces the “patient” identity. Enabling members of peer support to understand the nature and impact of these cultural forces leads individuals and peer communities toward a capacity for personal, relational and social change. It is our hope that consumers from all different types of programs (e.g. drop-in, social clubs, advocacy, support, outreach, respite), traditional providers, and policy makers will find this articlehelpful in stimulating dialogue about the role of peer programs in the development of a recovery based system.
Groups: Persons living with Mental Illness
Keywords: TrainingEmployment SupportsPeer SupportPolicy ImplicationsPsychiatric DisabilitySupport ServicesTheoretical Approaches