Accelerating Best Practices in Peer Support Around the World

Mental Health

3.2.21

Challenges to Peer Support in LMIC During COVID-19

Global Health. 2020 Sep 25;16(1):90. doi: 10.1186/s12992-020-00622-y. [Full Commentary]

Mpango R, Kalha J, Shamba D, Ramesh M, Ngakongwa F, Kulkarni A, Korde P, Nakku J, Ryan GK

Abstract

Background: A recent editorial urged those working in global mental health to “change the conversation” on coronavirus disease (Covid-19) by putting more focus on the needs of people with severe mental health conditions. UPSIDES (Using Peer Support In Developing Empowering mental health Services) is a six-country consortium carrying out implementation research on peer support for people with severe mental health conditions in high- (Germany, Israel), lower middle- (India) and low-income (Tanzania, Uganda) settings. This commentary briefly outlines some of the key challenges faced by UPSIDES sites in low- and middle-income countries as a result of Covid-19, sharing early lessons that may also apply to other services seeking to address the needs of people with severe mental health conditions…

3.2.21

A Systematic Review of Psychosocial-Based Outcomes in Peer-Support Services

J Evid Based Soc Work. 2020 Sep 7;1-26. doi: 10.1080/26408066.2020.1805385. [Pubmed Abstract]

Mowbray O, Campbell R, Lee M, Fatehi M, Disney L

Abstract

In determining whether peer support interventions are effective, an examination of the measures used to assess outcomes is essential. Prior reviews often do not account for validly and reliability of measures used in studies, which may lead to conflicting conclusions. Method: Explicit criteria to identify articles of psychosocial based outcomes in peer support services was used. Outcome measures were categorized along broad dimensions, examined for validity and reliability and reviewed for major findings. Results: Thirteen domains of psychosocial based outcomes emerged. Most domains had at least one outcome measure that was valid and reliable. Articles that included valid and reliable outcomes suggests peer support services may be associated with multiple domains. Conclusion: From an examination of the validity and reliability…

10.6.20

The Fundamental Value of Presence in Peer and Mutual Support: Observations from Telephone Support for High Risk Groups

Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice. 2020;11(3),1-20. [Full Article]

Fisher EB, Tang PT, Evans M, Bhushan N, Graham MA, Dreyer Valovcin D, Castellano C

Abstract
“Being there” takes on considerable importance amidst recognition of the substantial deleterious effects of social isolation and loneliness. In particular, presence/ “being there” may be important features of the many contributions of peer and mutual support to health and wellbeing. This study examined how peer support may enhance a sense of presence based on a) contact data for years 2015-2016 from telephonic peer support services of Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, and b) structured interviews with peer supporters and clients of these programs. Features of peer support that convey presence include a) 24/7 availability, b) structure of peer support around shared cultural roles – e.g., “Cop2Cop,” “Mom2Mom,” rather than shared diagnoses, c) training of supporters to provide a…

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