The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance recognizes the benefits of peer support and Peer Specialists, especially as the pandemic continues to unfold and mental health concerns are at the forefront worldwide.
Research studies show, in general people who attended a support group for one year were not only less likely to be depressed but also more likely to experience a sense of altruism, cohesiveness, and hope. In the specific case of DBSA’s own support groups, research conducted by Pepperdine University showed, participants reported higher levels of understanding and acceptance of their mental health condition, confidence about their treatment, optimism, and control over their future, and self-esteem.
The role of the Peer Specialist is not to duplicate or replace that of therapists, care managers, and other members of the treatment team. Instead, the Peer Specialist engages the person seeking support and recovery through their shared experience, while fostering connection, and inspiring hope. Peer Specialists offer a level of acceptance, understanding, and validation not found in many other professional relationships.
Peers who work with Peer Specialists reported improved engagement with their health care provider, self-care, and abilities to manage healthcare systems.
Read more about what DBSA is doing to advance peer support and improve outcomes for people living with mental health conditions.
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