Accelerating Best Practices in Peer Support Around the World

October Newsletter: From Planning to Action

How do you encourage people to take action to move peer support programs forward? For us, it means educating people, showing them concrete benefits, and helping them experience peer support first-hand.

In our October newsletter, we share two spotlights from our recent efforts to promote peer support and strengthen links between peer support and health care professionals.

For the first feature, “Diabetes Education and Support: Two Complementary Halves“, we organized a delegation of peer supporters to participate in the annual meeting of the American Association of Diabetes Educators. This was the first time that peer supporters have been invited to participate in the AADE annual meeting. Providing an opportunity to advocate for peer support and network with colleagues, the delegation enabled peer supporters and diabetes educators to engage on equal footing in the co-production of care, knowledge, and support for patients with diabetes. This report highlights the complementarity of the work performed by peer supporters and diabetes educators by examining similarities in their roles, challenges in practice, and strategies for improvement.

In the second, “Small Wins, Big Success“, we share our insights from leading training workshops for health care providers in China to nurture the adoption of peer support programs. For organizations without experience running peer support programs, there are considerable barriers and constraints to address before launching such programs. Our ongoing efforts in China have taught us to seek small wins in the short term, and to build on these concrete steps with ongoing quality improvement and troubleshooting for long-term success.

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