Digital Peer Support

 

Peer support is recognized internationally as an essential mental health service for people learning to cope with or manage symptoms of a mental health condition and/or substance use disorder. These individualized or group-based support services are provided by a peer (“peer support specialist”) whom has a lived experience of a mental health condition and/or substance use disorder. Peer support services have been instrumental in augmenting traditional mental health treatment for decades. For example, peer support services have shown improvements in patient engagement, medical outcomes, self-management techniques, patient activation, quality of life, physical activity, and medication adherence. Along with the influx of digital mental health services changing the way psychiatric care is delivered by traditional providers (i.e., psychiatrists,psychologists, and social workers), peer support specialists are using technology to deliver peer support services. Our publications  explore the various platforms and contexts in which peers are using technology to deliver support services.