Peer Support Specialists Increase Likelihood of Recovery from Mental Illness and Addictions

NJAMHAA Virtual Conference Features Experts on Peer Support


September 10, 2020

A wealth of research demonstrates the effectiveness of peer support services as peers motivate individuals to begin and continue with mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and guide them along their paths to recovery. Peers, who are individuals in recovery themselves, inspire others by sharing their similar experiences in overcoming challenges and demonstrating that recovery is possible. This support, along with clinical treatment, is even more critical now as the COVID-19 pandemic has led to exacerbated mental illnesses and SUDs, as well as development of such disorders in many others. Peers also benefit by the meaningful purpose they have in these roles, which enhances their determination to achieve lifelong recovery.

The University of North Carolina defines peer support specialists as individuals who are living in recovery with mental illnesses and/or substance use disorders who provide support to others based on their individual experiences. By sharing life experiences, peer support specialists can offer insight into individuals’ treatment, in addition to providing mentorship, coaching and advocacy. North Dakota’s Department of Human Services highlights that peer support specialists can serve as a pro-social model and establish positive relationships with individuals who are in treatment or recovery. In recent years, there has been evidence that supports the effectiveness of peer support specialists. According to Mental Health America, peer support specialists have reduced re-hospitalization rates and the number of initial inpatient stays; have lowered the need for and overall costs of treatment services; and have increased the use of outpatient services and the quality of life outcomes. Click here for more data about peer support specialists.

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NJAMHAA in the News:

New Jersey's 2021 Budget Should Expand Mental Health Treatment

New Jerseyans Need More Mental Health Services in this Time of COVID-19

Coronavirus Resources

To help everyone stay informed about the coronavirus and recommendations that have been shared by various resources, NJAMHAA has consolidated resources. Click here to access links.

Race and Behaviroal Health Resources

NJAMHAA has compiled a list of resources related to race and mental health. Click here to access the links.



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For a listing of NJAMHAA events, please visit njamhaa.org/events.

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