Accelerating Best Practices in Peer Support Around the World

My Role In Promotion

How Can I Strengthen My Role In Promoting Peer Support?

No matter your role – peer supporters, program manager, health care providers or organizational leader – you can play a significant role in the lives of people living with diabetes and other conditions by offering peer support and raising awareness about peer support to get others on board.

To begin strengthening your role in promoting peer support, you can start with becoming familiar with the evidence for peer support. This article “Peer Support in Diabetes Management – Time for a Change” provides an overall rationale for peer support. You can also visit the Learn About Peer Support section to find out more about what science says about the value and contribution of peer support.

Another key aspect of strengthening your role in promoting peer support is knowing what avenues to utilize in getting the word out to colleagues, funders, and the community at large.

Considering doing some community outreach?

– View the various tools to implement promotional activities provided by the National Diabetes Education Program.

– Toolkit for Advocating for a Behavioral Health Peer Support Program

Brochure for prospective clients

Brochure for prospective organizations

CHW Advocacy Toolkit

Considering working with the media?

– Check out the general media advocacy tools found at The University of Kansas Community Tool Box.


Below are information and resources to promote peer support. Click on the tabs to see more.


To promote peer support, Program Managers can:

  • Assess barriers and facilitating factors (e.g. community, organizational structure, funding, culture) to developing and maintaining a peer support program.
  • Consider the “DBH/MRS” Checklist as a program manger to think about how you can promote peer support in your daily work in the “Tools of Transformation. Peer Culture/Peer Support and Peer Leadership” from The Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Mental Retardation Services.
  • Seek buy-in from key stakeholders (e.g. community leaders, organizational leaders, health care providers).
  • Building the Business Case for Self-Management is a resource from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Diabetes Initiative for program managers looking to present a financial and nonfinancial business case.
  • Since community partnerships are essential for promoting, establishing, and sustaining peer support programs, Tools for Building Clinic-Community Partnerships are helpful resources from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Diabetes Initiative organized around a framework for supporting chronic disease control and prevention.

To promote peer support, Peer Supporters can:

  • Share your personal stories about managing your self-care and your experiences as a peer supporter. Share the challenges you faced and how you overcame them to allow other peer supporters to learn from your story.
  • Post a video online, write a blog, or send in a letter to the editor.
  • Volunteer with local peer support programs in their community outreach efforts.
  • Identify and engage those peers with characteristics that would qualify them to become good peer supporters.


Resources for Peer Supporters:

To promote peer support, Health Care Providers can:

  • Identify community resources and make information on peer support program available to the patients and partner with peer support programs.
  • Initiate and lead peer support programs or involve volunteers, office managers, NGOs representatives to take on the program.
  • The provider checklist in “Tools of Transformation. Peer Culture/Peer Support and Peer Leadership” from The Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Mental Retardation Services helps providers think about their own health care practice supports or doesn’t support the development of peer support.
  • Advocate for integration of peer support services into the continuum of community care.

Health Care Organizations may support the development of peer support groups within the community by:  

  • Encouraging health care providers and program managers to support those individuals who wish to develop peer support groups.
  • Providing a grant for newly formed peer support groups to help with start up costs.
  • Providing training opportunities to assist in the development of peer support.


Resources for Health Care Organizations:

  • The CDC offers this course to provide state programs and other stakeholders with basic knowledge about Community Health Workers (CHWs), such as official definitions of CHWs, workforce development, and other topic areas. In addition, the course covers how states can become engaged in policy and systems change efforts to establish sustainability for the work of CHWs, including examples of states that have proven success in this arena.
  • California Health Care Foundation provides recommendations to health systems to make peer support interventions more successful on pages 35-37 of the report called “Building Peer Support Programs to Manage Chronic Disease: Seven Models for Success”.
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