Accelerating Best Practices in Peer Support Around the World

Mental Health


Social Isolation and Mental Health: The Role of Nondirective and Directive Social Support

Community Ment Health J. 2021 Mar 3. doi: 10.1007/s10597-021-00787-9. [Pubmed Abstract]

Evans M, Fisher EB


Social isolation is a powerful predictor of poor mental and physical health, while social support has been shown to be protective. The ways in which social support is provided may confer differential benefits. This research examines relationships among types of social support (nondirective, directive, emotional and instrumental), social isolation, and mental health outcomes (anxiety and depression) in a convenience sample of adults with common health problems recruited from all email accounts of a university. A survey distributed to a university-wide listserv that included faculty, staff, and students yielded an analyzable sample of 65. T-tests compared levels of anxiety and depression between socially isolated and non-socially isolated people. Regression models tested main effects of type of support as well as their interaction with social isolation. Levels of…


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


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…


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


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…

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