You will find no two peer support groups are the same—each is as unique as a snowflake or a finger print.
A peer support group is a regular gathering of persons who come from different backgrounds, lifestyles, experiences with the exception of ONE. We all have the lived experience of mental illness and or addiction.
Usually once week, we come together, guided by a trained or certified peer, to talk with one another about our experiences, struggles and challenges. The support group becomes an anchor for us as we recover from our illnesses and develop skills to live more effectively in our communities and personal world. A peer support group is a freeing experience, as we realize that “I am not alone,” and hope and trust grow in between times.
Most of Us with mental illness and or addiction are not used to talking about our concerns or needs in social situations. But a peer support group, possibly unlike anywhere else for Us, is a judgment- and stigma-free zone, so we are usually more open to sharing. As Participants we know that we are equipped to offer advice to each other and help troubleshoot problems because of our shared lived experiences. Who better to offer inspirational, candid messages than someone who’s been there?
These opinions are best received when coming from people...both Like US and For US... who have walked along with us in this journey and have seen the world through those same eyes of experience and knowledge.