Peer Support Program
Formal peer support is a unique mental health service provided by a mental health consumer trained as a Certified Peer Specialist (CPS). The CPS works with other individual mental health consumers (peers) in a pro-active partnership to achieve self-determined recovery goals identified by the peer. Formal peer support is complimentary to traditional mental health treatment and is designed to help empower consumers through a sharing of the recovery experience.
CPSs meet with peers to develop personal recovery goal plans and then determine how the peer support relationship can best help the peer pursue their goals. Examples of support activities can include:
- Recovery or life goal setting
- Practical skill building (hygiene, budgeting, housekeeping, shopping, social interaction, time management, etc.)
- Problem solving
- Connecting with natural supports in the community
- Creating and utilizing self-help recovery tools such as Wellness Recovery Action Plans or Mental Health Advance Directives
- Negotiating recovery oriented services
- Work or education readiness
- Employer/employee relationships
- Stress management
The MHA Peer Support Program is a mental health consumer run, free-standing project separate from any treatment programs. It is committed to the principles of recovery and the belief that consumers have the right to pursue their dreams and aspirations and that peer support can play a crucial role in helping fellow consumers negotiate the successes and pitfalls in the shared journey of recovery.