PEER SUPPORT VALUES

VOLUNTARY

The most basic value of peer support is that it is both given and received voluntarily. Being forced or coerced e.g., told to attend, or lose rights to treatment, is against the core purpose of peer support

HOPEFUL

By authentically living recovery, peer supporters inspire real hope that recovery is possible for others.

OPEN MINDED

Peer supporters “meet people where they are at” in their recovery experience even when the other person’s beliefs, attitudes, or ways of approaching recovery are far different from their own.

EMPATHETIC

Empathy comes from ‘lived experience’ but peer supporters do not assume they know exactly what the other person is feeling. Authentic empathy enables peer supporters to provide meaningful support, know when to respond and when just listening is required.

RESPECTFUL

Mental health is highly individual and this in part reflects the diversity in society. Effective peer support welcomes and values diversity, this includes different ideas and views.

FACILITATE CHANGE

Peer supporters treat people as human beings and remain alert to any practice (including the way people treat themselves) that is dehumanizing, demoralizing or degrading and will use their personal story and/or advocacy to be an agent for positive change.

HONEST & DIRECT

Absolute confidentiality and privacy are foundations of any support relationship, this also builds trust and enables direct supportive conversations.

MUTUAL & RECIPROCAL

Unlike traditional treatment where the one person is regarded as in need and the other as the help giver. In a true peer support relationship, each person both gives and receives support.

EQUAL

The mutual and reciprocal nature of peer support relationships results in an equal power environment.

STRENGTHS FOCUSSED

Peer support focuses on what's strong, not what's wrong in another’s life. Through peer support, people get in touch with their strengths (the things they have going for them).

TRANSPARENT

Peer supporters communicate in plain language so people can readily understand and they “put a face on recovery” by sharing personal recovery experiences to inspire hope and the belief that recovery is real.

PERSON DRIVEN

All people have a fundamental right to make decisions about things related to their lives. Peer supporters inform people about options, provide information about choices, and respect their decisions.

STAY IN LANE

Peer support is not therapy, it avoids co-opting clinical language and practices and giving the impression that that clinical treatment is being offered. Peer supporters know when to sign post to professional services and if in doubt will seek advice.