Peer Support FAQs

1. What is Peer Support?

Peer Support is …

  • Listening to others
  • Sharing thoughts and exploring ideas
  • Looking at different options and choices
  • Empowering others to make their own decisions
  • Respecting confidentiality
  • Setting guidelines and expectations
  • Knowing when you cannot help someone and admitting that you don’t have all the answers
    Referring someone to other community resources when you are unable to support them.

2. What isn’t Peer Support?

Peer Support is not …

  • Providing professional counseling or therapy
  • Giving advice
  • Solving other people’s problems for them
  • Discussing medical information or therapeutic intervention
  • Trying to be the “expert”.

3. What are the Key Concepts of Peer Support?

Key Concepts of Peer Support include…

  • A form of support among persons facing similar barriers
  • Linking people to people
  • Equality (no power play)
  • Mutual relationships
  • Guidance

4. What is a Peer?

A Peer is …

  • Someone who has directly experienced a disability
  • Someone who is willing to share their personal stories with others in similar situations
  • Someone who understands and can relate to feelings and challenges faced by others in similar situations.

5. What Skills and Attributes are required to be a peer?

A peer needs to be able to…

  • Listen and not advise
  • Possess a willingness to share insights and experiences about living with a disability
  • Put yourself in someone else’s shoes – “empathy”
  • Recognize personal limitations and ask for help when required
  • Provide unconditional acceptance
  • Allow someone to make his or her own decisions without passing judgement
  • Have the confidence to share your experiences openly and honestly.