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Tips for Starting Rural Peer Support Groups

Rural communities are unique, and therefore have unique needs when it comes to support group development. The following are a few insights into rural communities and suggestions that could be helpful in developing self-help groups. Tip 1: Stress Confidentiality Among Group Members Confidentiality is a very important issue in support group development and can be more of a challenge to maintain in rural communities. People in...

Peer and Professional Roles in Peer Support

A committed peer support group member has a responsibility to the group and to the peer support movement to promote the development of effective groups and effective relationships with professionals. In relationships with professionals, peers work to: Understand and explain the benefits and limitations of peer support groups. Promote the value of peer support group participation using specific examples. Describe the benefit...

Six Steps to Starting Peer Support Groups

STEP 1: Do Your Homework Search through your local paper, library and community organizations to see if other groups already exist. Call up several existing groups to find out what is working and not working. Talk to people with resources, such as professionals in the community. These people may have come across others who share a similar challenge or experience and want to participate in your group. You may want to talk to...

Principles of Peer Support

People come together to form peer support groups because they share a common experience or concern. Some groups focus on education and information while others centre on emotional support and sharing. Others offer an opportunity to socialize and form friendships. Each group forms and then changes according to the members’ needs. Many peer-led groups and organizations, whether they focus on community issues or provide...