This briefing paper sets out a definition of peer support, the different forms it can take, the principles that underpin it and the benefits. Although focused on mental health, it will be useful to audiences beyond mental health.
It takes as its basis the definition that peer support is ‘offering and receiving help, based on shared understanding, respect and mutual empowerment between people in similar situations’. It describes the underpinning principles as: mutual, reciprocal, non-directive, recovery focused, strengths based, inclusive, progressive and safe. It sets out benefits to the worker, the people being supported, the teams and the organisation.