Peer support is the process of offering assistance to achieve long-term recovery.
Peer support providers are people with a personal experience of recovery from mental health, substance use, or trauma conditions who receive specialized training and supervision to guide and support others who are experiencing similar mental health, substance use or trauma issues toward increased wellness. Peer support providers offer emotional support, share knowledge, provide practical assistance, and connect people with resources, opportunities, communities, and other people. Peer support providers offer a special source of support to help inspire hope and sustain long term recovery.
Foglesong, D., Spagnolo, A.B., Cronise, R. et al. Perceptions of Supervisors of Peer Support Workers (PSW) in Behavioral Health: Results from a National Survey. Community Ment Health J (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-021-00837-2
This content analysis of open-ended survey responses compares and contrasts perceptions on supervision from supervisors with experience providing direct peer support services (PS) and supervisors without experience providing direct peer support services (NPS).A 16-item online survey was distributed via the National Association of Peer Supporters (N.A.P.S.) listserv and through peer networks and peer run organizations. Responses from 837 respondents, across 46 US states, were analyzed. Four open ended questions assessed supervisors’ perceptions on differences supervising peer support workers (PSW) as compared to other staff, important qualities of PSW supervisors, roles when supervising a PSW, and concerns about PSWs in the organization. Among NPS and PS, three major differences in themes emerged: the knowledge required of supervisors, understanding of the role of the PSW, and supervisors’ beliefs regarding PSW competencies. PS have a more nuanced understanding of the peer support worker role and the impact of lived experience in the role.
What is Recovery Month?
Now in its 32nd year, Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those in recovery, just as we celebrate improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease.
Each September, Recovery Month works to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible.
8 dimensions of Wellness
The wellness model focuses on a person’s strengths and potentials in multiple dimensions (physical, mental, emotional, social, intellectual, environmental, occupational, and financial) and recognizes the inter-related connections among the dimensions.
Engagement in daily and weekly wellness habits and routines can influence overall wellness, balance and recovery.
- Motivation is related to personal control, a focus on strengths, and wellness.
- Building internal motivation is essential to create and sustain wellness habits.
- Supporters are essential for building and sustaining health habits and routines.
A key focus is on wellness self-care habits and routines (sleep and rest, physical activity, accessing medical care and screenings, managing stress, decreasing or eliminating substances, preventing or managing medical conditions, etc.).
Self-care habits support other wellness dimensions for a full and satisfying life.