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What is peer support?

Peer support occurs when people provide knowledge, experience, and emotional, social or practical help to each other.

Sheryl Mead, David Hilton and Laurie Curtis, Peer support: A theoretical perspective

Peer support is when people use their life experiences to help each other. There are many different forms of peer support, but they are all based on providing safe spaces where people can feel accepted and understood. In peer support, everyone’s views and experiences are equally valued and there is an emphasis on reciprocity and mutual aid – that is, people both give and receive support.

Here, we explore the roots of peer support, its essential values and give some practical examples of peer support in action.

Examples of peer support

Learn about some of the different types of peer support by clicking on the images below.

Out of hours crisis line

Out of hours crisis line

Peer support group

Peer support group

Activist collective

Activist collective

Peer support workers

Peer support workers

Online forums

Online forums

EXPLORE

In this module, we explore the roots of peer support, its core values, benefits and drawbacks. We also examine Hearing Voices Groups as an example of peer support in action. Use the grid below to find out more.

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