This chapter will first summarise the range of definitions that have been provided for peer support, in a mental health context. Clarifications of the different aims of peer support initiatives aud the potential psychological processes that underpin them are then provided. Three key forms that peer support groups may take are then described and we track Sam as he experiences peer support in the context of job seeking. A summary of existing empirical evidence for peer support groups is provided before examining some of the necessary tensions that may exist between the alternative views of those coming from inside the consumerlsurvivor/ex-patient (clslx) movement perspective, and the traditional discourses based on the medical approach. A series of recommendations is then offered for those who are working or about to work within a peer support framework in mental health. The recommendations include things to do and things to avoid.
Oades, L. G., Deane, F. P. & Anderson, J. (2012). Peer support in a mental health service context. In R. King, C. Lloyd, T. Meehan, F. P. Deane & D. J. Kavanagh (Eds.), Manual of psychosocial rehabilitation (pp. 185-193). United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell.