• Vol. 48 No. 3, 95–97
  • 15 March 2019

Peer Support in Mental Health: A Growing Movement in Singapore



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Peer support is a growing global phenomenon in healthcare services. Peers for Progress, an international peer support association based in the University of North Carolina, currently oversees 320 peer support programmes in 6 continents. It defined peer support as “(linking) people living with a chronic condition such as diabetes. People with a common illness are able to share knowledge and experiences—including some that many health workers do not have”.1 Service users engaged in peer support work include breast cancer survivors2 to young persons with diabetes3 to people who have experienced a mental health crisis.4 A reason for the growth of peer support in healthcare services is embedded in the definition of peer support—it enhances existing services by encouraging peers to share their knowledge and experiences with other healthcare staff and providers. Recovery from mental illness is a complex process5,6 that often includes wellness in physical and mental health, social functioning and personal identity.

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