Peer support, like recovery, has been popular in the last 20 years. Peer support is for people with mental health challenges who are in recovery from a mental illness. They are active in their recovery and doing well managing their symptoms.
A peer support worker is not a therapist or a counselor. They do not treat mental health disorders but journey alongside their struggling peers.
Their main goal to help their peers with mental illness to recover by sharing their story and what has helped them in their own recovery journey.
There is training for peer support workers and certification for peer support specialists. Each state differ with their certification.
My blog is on mental health challenges. I am a blogger with mental health challenges. I call it a mental health consumer’s blog.
Recovery is a journey that never ends and does not mean a cure for your mental health challenge. My focus will be on journaling and other self-help techniques.
Peer support is important because the peer worker shares her struggle and story of recovery.They are an encourager and a beacon of hope, providing a role model of recovery although they are not either perfect or cured.
A lot of peers volunteer their time, but some are paid as a certified peer support specialist (for which they need training and certification). Often they lead peer support group communities, while some work in mental health centers or clinics.
Read a great book written by peer Priscilla Ridgway called “Pathways to Recovery” as well as other books on the same topic. This may be an older book, but I suggest you read it. In my paid recovery group, many of the suggestions come originally from the book.
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What can you get out of peer support? Talking to a peer in recovery can help by letting you know…
1. You are not alone on this journey
2. Other have entered recovery
3. Someone has gone before you and is living their her life in recovery
4. Recovery is not a destination but a journey
1. Write your recovery story to share with your peers in recovery
2. Brainstorm your top 5 or 10 values (what is import to you)
3. As you write, include in your story what you want in your life
4. List 1 to 3 goals that takes your values in mind
5. Break your goals into projects
6. Break the projects into tasks
7. List tasks in your planner or notebook