What Is The Issue?
An important contributor to recovery, peer support is a supportive relationship between people who have a lived experience in common. The peer support worker provides emotional and social support to others who share a common experience. But despite evidence of the benefits, for both individuals and families, peer support programs have yet to receive the focus, funding, and attention needed.
What Are We Doing?
The Mental Health Strategy for Canada promotes peer support as an essential component of the mental health system. It recommends an increased number of peer support opportunities and the development of national guidelines for peer support. In following these recommendations, the MHCC has completed a number of projects to help integrate peer support into Canada’s healthcare system.
What We've Learned
Peer support works. Empowerment and the development of personal resourcefulness — the foundation of peer support — not only improves people’s lives but also saves money by reducing the use of more formal mental health, medical, and social services. But to enhance the use of peer support, attitudes that are still widespread across the mental health system must first be changed.