• Vol. 48 No. 3
  • 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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