Peer support has a long history and has garnered support from many important sources, as illustrated in part 2 of this series. Connecting someone who has survived a suicidal crisis to peers is one of the core values in The Way Forward, which states:
As peers, we can provide social support and a sense of community while also sharing experiential knowledge and practical advice about coping skills, serving as positive role models for others. Furthermore, when we enter the role of helper we also experience benefits.
Many of the approaches are also consistent with increasing hope, timely access to supports, connectedness, and choices for recovery planning, while empowering persons with lived experience as helpers, which challenges negative stereotypes.
However, some wonder about how peer support could help with suicide prevention. Thus, this part covers the theories that tie these two concepts together.
Benefits of peer support
| Social Support and Sense of Community.
| Experiential Knowledge and Practical Coping
| Social Learning Theory
| Social Comparison Theory
| The Helper Therapy Principle
Part 4 – Research making it a promising practice
Part 5 (Finale) – Why suicide prevention is failing, and how peers can help