Peer support specialists support parents, caregivers, youth, and young adults, who each have their own specific needs.
Peer Support for Families and Caregivers
Family peer support specialists—also sometimes referred to as parent support professionals, navigators, mentors, family partners, parent partners, or parent support specialists—can help navigate systems of care, provide empathy and social support, connect people with resources, and support wellness. They bring expertise based on their own lived experience and offer hope when it comes to sustaining recovery.
Family peer support specialists provide the following benefits:
- Increased sense of collaboration, self-efficacy, and recognition of the importance of self-care
- Decreased internalized blame and family isolation
- Improved family functioning
- Increased knowledge and parenting skills
Learn more about peer support for families:
Youth and Young Adult Peer Support
Mental health conditions can lead to a disruption in education and employment, and youth peer support specialists can help youth navigate these and other systems. Youth peer support specialists support youth and young adults by collaborating across youth and adult systems. They act as a bridge to ensure a smooth transition to adult services.
Youth and young adult peer support specialists demonstrate that recovery is possible. They can engage youth in treatment, foster connection, and provide support, offering developmentally appropriate educational information, skills, and community resources.
Research demonstrates that youth peer support is associated with:
- Increases in annual outpatient visits
- Increased use of outpatient mental health services
- Improved trust and engagement among transition-age youth
Learn more about peer support specialists working to support youth in recovery: