If you are interested in learning more about peer support, the following suggested readings provide definitions, standards, and related data on peer support. These articles are provided as a resource and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Pennsylvania Peer Support Coalition.

If you have suggestions for additional articles or resources please contact us.

Defining Peer Support

Understanding What Useful Help Looks Like: The Standards of Peer Support: Cheryl MacNeil, Ph.D. and Shery Mead, M.S.W., national experts on peer support, explore what makes peer support programs successful, identifying eight standards that are found in quality peer support programs.

Benefits of Peer Support

Peer Support/Peer Provided Services: Underlying Processes, Benefits, and Critical Ingredients: In this article Phyllis Solomon reviews various definitions of peer support, defines categories of peer support, reviews the research on the benefits of peer support (to the individual receiving support, to the peer provider, and to the mental health system), and discusses critical ingredients needed to maximize the benefits of peer support.

Integrating Peer Support into the Mental Health System

Peer Support: A Systemic Approach: Shery Mead, M.S.W. and Cheryl MacNeil, Ph.D., nationally recognized experts on peer support, place peer support into a socio-political context, identify aspects of peer support that make it unique from mental health services, and articulate some of the challenges peer support may face in retaining its uniqueness when integrated into a medical-model system of delivering services.

Emerging New Practices in Organized Peer Support: Prepared by Jean Campbell, Ph.D. and Judy Leaver, M.A., this paper is a report from the Emerging New Practices in Organized Peer Support experts meeting held in Alexandria, VA, March 17-18, 2003, where participants shared information about emerging practices in peer support The report includes an overview of the evolution of peer support, identifies emerging (in 2003) practices in peer support, and offers recommendations for moving peer support forward.

Data on Peer Support

Recovery to Practice: Situational Analysis. This is a report compiled by the National Association of Peer Supporters (NAPS) in 2010-2011. The report contains information about the status of the peer support profession at that time. To request a copy of the report, contact NAPS at info@peersupportworks.org.

Pillars of Peer Support: Transforming Mental Health Systems of Care through Peer Support: A report from the national Pillars of Peer Support Services Summit held in Atlanta, Georgia in November 2009. The summit brought together states offering formal training and certification processes for peer providers. The report provides information about the status of peer support in various states, including Medicaid-reimbursement rates, numbers of working peer specialists, hours of training required for certification as a peer specialist, and lessons learned about what makes a successful state certification program or initiative. Follow-up summits have been held yearly. To learn more about the summits visit: www.pillarsofpeersupport.org.

Peer Specialist Compensation/Satisfaction 2007 Survey Report: A report of the findings from the 2007 survey conducted by the National Association of Peer Specialists regarding the work experiences of peer specialists.