Our latest initiative involves the development of our new Self Help/Peer Support Program to supplement the Peer Concept we practice throughout our agency.
Targeted towards people with chronic long term psychiatric hospitalizations and significant diagnoses, Peer Self Help is designed to help clients integrate into the community when they have been absent from it for a long time. This is a very broad and flexible program to help a person get past any issues that could result in enough stress as to trigger a re-hospitalization.
Self help is a friend and a partner allowing us to work with clients to face the everyday stresses that life has to offer and counter them with real solutions. Here are some examples:
- Our peer supporters successfully keep clients engaged by providing proactive, flexible, and continued long-term follow-up.
- Peer supporters use their own experiences with diet, physical activity, and medication adherence to help people figure out how to manage mental health issues in their daily lives. They can also help in identifying key resources, such as where to buy healthy food, or how to find pleasant and convenient locations for exercise.
- Peer supporters can help bridge the gap between the client and health professionals, and encourage individuals to seek out clinical and community resources when it is appropriate.
- Through empathetic listening and encouragement, peer supporters play an integral part in helping clients to cope with social or emotional barriers to staying motivated and reaching their goals.
In short, the Peer Self Help program links individuals who understand and want to help with individuals who need an understanding person to support their efforts to reverse the tide of their lives. Nothing can replace human compassion. Nothing can replace human caring. Everyone needs a friend. We aim to be that friend…to do everything we can to keep individuals moving forward to recovery and productive lives rather than back to institutionalized treatment and a demoralizing sense of hopelessness.