The International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) has recently updated their summary document on peer support services in the mental health and addiction sectors in Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland and the US.
Although this is not meant to be a comprehensive review or analysis, some common themes did emerge. For example, it was found that peer support services encourage people to move from “patienthood to personhood”, and are a cost-effective way to improve health outcomes. Related benefits are reported by peer support workers themselves and the community also benefits from new positive, attitudes towards consumers. Factors that strengthen the effectiveness of the peer support worker role include training, planning for integration of the role with other roles of an organization, supervision and ongoing mentoring.
See “Walk the walk and talk the talk,” May 2011 at www.iimhl.com.