Peer support is when other people with lived experience of mental illness and/or substance use disorders share their recovery stories and offer support. It is an important part of many people’s recovery journeys. Peer support can come from traditional, 12-step self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. It can also come from peer specialists, recovery coaches, and others who help encourage individuals to talk about their recovery from addiction and mental health conditions. Talking with others who have similar experiences and have “been there” helps to promote hope and provides positive role models for those in recovery.
MBHP has provided peer support opportunities for over 15 years. Here is a list of some of the peer-run agencies and activities that MBHP participates is involved with:
- Collaborative Quality Improvements (CQI), a company run by peers, which reviews Member satisfaction with behavioral health services
- The Transformation Center, a statewide, peer-run technical assistance center
- Massachusetts Leadership Academy, where peers share their recovery experiences, learn leadership skills, and plan community service projects
- Annual MBHP Recovery Forums, which inform peers, providers, and other interested parties about recovery-oriented topics
- Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition, which offers peer-run Dual Recovery Anonymous (DRA) meetings, a 12-step program to support people in recovery from mental health and substance use disorders by sharing experiences and focusing on strengths, hope, and recovery
- Peer Support in Aftercare, a program that makes peers living and working in the community available to assist those being discharged from the hospital with transition back to their communities
- MBHP compiled a peer support resource guide to help individuals find support.