Yes, peer support for older adults is proving to be an effective addition to other existing services. The webinar Peer Support for Older Adults explores the problems facing a society with a quickly growing number of older adults living with psychiatric disorders. Increases in longevity for people already living with mental health problems, the rapidly aging “baby boomer” generation, increased stressors for older adults brought about by societal changes and the epidemic rise of loneliness all contribute to an increased burden on an already inadequate behavioral health system of care. Older adults have unique needs in terms of wellness, the need for improved health outcomes, and connections to communities of their choice.
In the webinar, the role of peer support in mitigating the crisis is examined, as well as a number of promising peer support programs for older adults. When older adult peer specialists are given the opportunity for training in the specific skills of working with other older adults, they represent a powerful asset for improving and even saving lives of their contemporaries.
This resource was selected by SMI Adviser content partners and approved by the SMI Adviser clinical expert team for inclusion in the knowledge base.
Peer Support For Older Adults (Mental Health America, 2019)