Peer support means people supporting each other on an equal basis, to offer something based on shared experiences. It has a long and honourable history in mental health - people with mental health problems and service users have always provided invaluable support to each other, both informally and through self-help and activist groups. It can happen in all sorts of places, informally and formally, in one-to-one settings and in groups.
Peer support offers many benefits, for example: shared identity and acceptance, increased self-confidence, the value of helping others, developing and sharing skills, improved mental health, emotional resilience and wellbeing, information and signposting, challenging stigma and discrimination.
Peer support plays a role in building capacity within local communities and as a basis for campaigning and activism. It has also been shown to lead to cost savings, by reducing the use of inpatient beds.
We believe everyone should have access to good quality peer support wherever they live.