General health concerns

Best Practices Identified for Peer Support Programs

This report explored how to most effectively apply peer support in the military environment including with veterans. The authors identified five factors that are important for sustaining peer support:

  1. adequate planning and preparation, including identifying the needs of the target population and aligning programme goals and activities to meet those ;
  2. clearly articulated policies, especially around role boundaries and confidentiality.;
  3. systematic screening and defined selection criteria for peer supporters, focusing on communication skills, leadership ability, character, previous experience or training, and individuals who can serve as role models;
  4. leverage benefits from people's 'peer' status such as experiential learning, social support, leadership and improved self-confidence and
  5. ongoing structured training for peer supporters.