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This article offers one theoretical perspective of peer support and attempts to define the elements that, when reinforced through education and training, provide a new cultural context for healing and recovery. Persons labeled with psychiatric disability have become victims of social and cultural ostracism and consequently have developed a sense of self that reinforces the "patient" identity. Enabling members of peer support to understand the nature and impact of these cultural forces leads individuals and peer communities toward a capacity for personal, relational, and social change. It is our hope that consumers from all different types of programs (e.g. drop-in, social clubs, advocacy, support, outreach, respite), traditional providers, and policy makers will find this article helpful in stimulating dialogue about the role of peer programs in the development of a recovery based system. (Authors)
Journal
2001
25
2
134-141
603-469-3577
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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services