Peer support services are now available to individuals and families struggling with substance use and addiction. The role of the peer support advocate is to offer and help, based on shared understanding, respect and mutual empowerment between people in similar situations.
Peer support workers engage in a wide range of activities, including advocacy, linkage to resources, sharing of experiences, community and relationship building, group facilitation, skill building,mentoring, goal setting, and more.
Utilizing their recovery expertise, professional training and lived experience, there are many tasks peers can perform. These tasks may include:
- engaging with an individual that is considering entering treatment;
- engaging a client to attend treatment or other healthcare services;
- engaging an individual in continuing care services post-discharge;
- raising awareness of existing social and other support services;
- helping peers develop Recovery Plans;
- learning and practicing new skills;
- helping peers self-monitor their progress;
- modeling effective coping skills;
- attending court and other system meetings as a support;
- facilitating non-clinical peer support groups; and
- supporting another peer in advocating for themselves to obtain effective services.