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Explains what peer support is, what types there are, how it can help you and how to access it.
Before trying peer support, it might help to ask yourself these questions:
"That shared experience of helping someone you don't know and having them open up to you is a wonderful, life-affirming experience."
The kind of support that works for you is completely personal. If you aren't finding something helpful, you can try something else.
"I'll be honest, I had to go through a number of groups before I found one that I felt ok with and fitted in."
Although many people find peer support helpful, not everyone does. You might find that it doesn't suit you, or doesn't meet your needs. If you've tried something and it hasn't helped, it's important not to blame yourself.
Some people find peer support useful at some times and not others. If it's not the right thing for you now, you should still be able to access it in the future if you want to.
See our guide to seeking help for a mental health problem for other options you could explore.
If you have a complaint, it could help to discuss your concerns with whoever organises your peer support group or service and ask about any ways you can make a complaint. You could also discuss it with your peers, if you feel comfortable doing so.
This information was published in July 2019. We will revise it in 2022.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.