Peer support groups

Peer support offered in a group setting. Groups are normally centred around a theme such as a shared medical diagnosis, a shared experience (e.g. being LGBT), or a shared interest (e.g. a gardening group). Groups can be structured, organised and facilitated in different ways. They can operate independently or as part of a wider network of groups.

"Positive examples": a bottom-up approach to identifying best practices in HIV care and treatment based on the experiences of peer educators

This article describes peer support in HIV care and treatment based on the perspective of 23 HIV-positive peer educators across the United States. Following in depth interviews, those individuals were asked questions about their role in their community and how they believed their interaction with others had a positive impact including on HIV knowledge, access to health care, utilisation of services, and adherence to treatment. The article then sets out the key findings from the discussions and draws conclusions on characteristics that may be important for programme sustainability.

Cultural competency in mental health peer-run programs and self-help groups

This tool was created to help mental health peer-operated programmes and self-help groups assess their own cultural competency. The toolkit defines cultural competency as the ability to interact effectively and comfortably with people from different cultures including people who differ from you in terms of race, ethnicity, culture, sexuality and other characteristics. It aims to help groups identify the ways in which their activities are responsive to culturally diverse peers and areas for improvement. Suggestions for specific action plans to grow cultural competency are provided.

Well ways evaluation

This report provides a case study of an evaluation of Well Ways, an Australia-wide peer-led group-based education and support programme for families and friends of people with a mental illness. The programme comprises eight 3-hour weekly sessions of education and discussion, followed by four workshops over the following 10 months.

Comprehensive peer support program development guide

This guide has curated evidence-based, field-tested tools and practices from peer support programmes from around the world. It aims to assist the development, implementation, evaluation, enhancement, and sustainability of peer support programmes. The guide is organized into five parts: What Is Peer Support, Program Development, Program Implementation, Program Evaluation, and Program Sustainability. It also has a subsection specifically on financial and cost management. Each of the five parts stands on its own and provides recommendations, resources, and considerations.

Peer outcomes protocol: administration manual

The peer outcomes was designed to develop, field test, and distribute a way to evaluate mental health peer support programs or groups that are based in communities. It is a step-by-step guide for gathering information about the program or group, including a questionnaire to use as well as tools and tips for undertaking interviews. The hope is that by helping groups to accurately gather information about the outcomes people experience, groups can then grow, develop and evaluate what they are offering.

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