Peer support can make a difference! Research has demonstrated a number of ways peer support, in addition to regular treatment and therapy, can uniquely support people in recovery:

  • Provide empathy. Peer support provides a personal level of knowledge by sharing similar life experiences. These common personal experiences can foster meaningful connections and a deeper sense of understanding and empathy between peers who may otherwise feel misunderstood.
  • Reduce isolation. After a suicide attempt, survivors may feel reluctant to share what happened with friends and family for fear of misunderstanding and judgement. This can often leave survivors feeling alone and isolated. Peer support programs support inclusiveness by providing a safe and more comfortable platform to open up and connect with others.
  • Provide hope. A peer who has recovered from a suicide attempt or healthily manages suicidal thoughts can provide useful insight on what to expect when navigating the recovery process and instill hope in peers that everything will be ok.
  • Improve overall mental and physical health. Those who participate in peer support often influence other positive, self-care and lifestyle behaviors like regular exercise, healthy eating, and stress management.

To learn more about peer support and the evidence in support of peer support in the recovery process visit: http://www.psresources.info/the-evidence (external link).