Best Practices Identified for Peer Support Programs

This resource was selected by SMI Adviser content partners and approved by the SMI Adviser clinical expert team for inclusion in the knowledge base.

This Identification of Best Practices in Peer Support Programs: White Paper seeks to identify elements associated with success in peer support program models as they might relate to the active-duty military
and veteran environments. Peer support is assistance provided by a person who shares commonalities with the target population, for example, direct experience in a particular situation or event, familiarity
with a particular stressor, or other shared characteristics. Currently, peer support is widely used in formal and informal programs and has been found to have a positive impact on individuals with shared
diseases, conditions or situations.

For the purposes of this paper, the primary population under consideration is active-duty service members, with the understanding that within that population there are many subset cultures and needs. Veteran populations are another critical group that could benefit from peer support programs, especially when separation from service distances an individual from the natural peer environment.

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