Strengths of Peer Support

Peer support is more than just a profession, it is a revolution that has only just begun. The movement was driven by consumers of mental health services since its infancy and continues to advance through widespread support from service users, advocates, families, and communities. Peer support workers are powerful role models, mentors and advocates who inspire hope in those with whom they work, while fighting the good fight against the deficit-based medical paradigm.

Peer Support: Defining the Peer Relationship

Peer support is a unique and often misunderstood role in the mental health and addiction recovery field. The traditional counselor-client relationship is rooted in a medical model for recovery that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of illness. Doctors, psychiatrists, and other professionals maintain hierarchical relationships with their clients. The professional is an authoritative figure who serves to direct the person’s recovery and the client is an object of treatment.