While peer specialists are required to attend training, many peer supporters also choose to continue learning about mental health, recovery tools, and new skills for supporting peers. Peer support provides a mutual opportunity to gain resources, inspiration, and hope. Many individuals find supporting one’s peers results in more growth in their own recovery. Peer support can happen in countless, unique ways, and two of the most common forms are through support group attendance and facilitation, and community education.
Attending a support group is a great way to begin exploring peer support. Facilitating a peer support group, whether a DBSA Chapter, Vet-2-Vet support group, or other recovery group can be incredibly fulfilling and inspiring. Facilitation is an art that takes practice; there are many different types of support groups that exist, there are also many different styles of facilitation. While some facilitators share personal experiences often, many choose to focus most on moving the flow of conversation as opposed to their own sharing, which can provide more time for group attendees to gain support. Additional resources about facilitating support groups will be posted here as we continue to expand the Center.
- 50 Ways to Create a Recovery Oriented Atmosphere
- Support Group Discussion Topics and Questions
- Facilitator Report
- DBSA Facilitator Training Video
Delivering educational programs to the community is an activity that many peer supporters find both fulfilling and meaningful. Sharing personal experiences of living with a mental health condition, while also being an active member of the community can make a powerful impact towards reducing stigma and changing perceptions about peers. Providing personal perspective, sharing facts and statistics, and clearing up misconceptions is a great way to make change on a local level. Many individuals also deliver educational events for peers, where new wellness tools are shared, plans for personal growth are discussed, and personal goals are set. When communities learn together they are strengthened. Additional resources about community education will be posted here as we continue to expand the Center.
Tools to Help You Deliver Community Education Programs:
- Community Conversations about Mental Health: Information Brief (pdf)
- Community Conversations about Mental Health: Planning Guide (pdf)
- Community Conversations about Mental Health: Discussion Guide (pdf)
Fact Sheets for You to Share:
- Mental Health and Mood Disorder Facts (pdf)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Facts (pdf)
- Depression in Men Facts (pdf)
- Depression in Women Facts (pdf)
- Postpartum Depression Facts (pdf)
The DBSA Peer Leadership Center is looking for your feedback on how to make this online community stronger. If you have ideas on important topics and resources that would be helpful to share with peers on this page or throughout the site, please submit your feedback through this form.
If you are interested in learning with your peers, please check out the DBSA Peer Leadership Center National Calendar of Educational Opportunities to see upcoming events.