Accelerating Best Practices in Peer Support Around the World

mental illness


Why Does Peer Support Work? Change Mechanisms Underlying Mental Health Peer Support

Huyen Vu, MSPH

Involving peer support workers in mental health services is an effective means to improve the recovery outcomes for people living with mental illness. Evidence from the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. suggests that by sharing their own experience of mental illness and supporting other patients in their own recovery journeys, peer workers can significantly improve treatment and recovery outcomes of people with psychiatric disability, and contributes to a substantial reduction in re-admission rates and bed days of mentally ill patients.

In the U.S., peer worker programs should grow in importance as the Affordable Care Act comes into effect. With an additional 8 million people eligible for Medicaid, and with the requirement to include mental health service coverage in all health plans, peer worker programs may be an effective strategy to alleviate the shortage of mental health professionals.

However, inclusion of the peer worker interventions as part of…


PfP Facebook page highlights peer support and mental health

PfP Facebook Highlights – Peer Support for Mental Health
Have you liked the Peers for Progress Facebook page? At the end of this year, the Peers for Progress team would like to bring your attention to several articles on peer support for mental health recently posted on our Facebook page. We welcome you to comment and share these stories!

An article from the Toronto Star discussing mental health and immigrants. A potential avenue for peer support to serve those in need.

The VA has met the president’s mental health executive hiring order of hiring 815 peer support specialists and apprentices. Check out this article to learn how will these workers be implemented?

Article on how doctors are now prescribing social support to help improve health.

CNN article discusses mental health in children and adults and highlights NAMI’s peer support programs.

Highlighting a peer support program in Uganda that raises awareness on mental health, reduces stigma and mobilize those with…


Peer Support and High Utilizers of Care: Addressing Social and Medical Needs Through a Care Management Program

Laura Guzman-Corrales, MPH Candidate

In the United States, 10% of individuals account for 65% of health care spending in a given year (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2012). Many of these high utilizers are patients with multiple co-occurring conditions and unmet social needs. The Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers (CCHP) has developed an innovative approach to identify and improve the health of these individuals. This blog introduces the idea of “hot spotting” and describes an intensive care management program designed for high utilizers featuring several components of peer support.

Hot Spotting: Using Data to Find High Need Patients

The CCHP began collecting public and private insurance claims data in 2002 (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2012). This data allowed them to identify “hotspots” where the highest utilizers of health care services were geographically located. CCHP narrowed down the highest utilizers to two apartment complexes in the city—one housing…

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