What does a peer support specialist do?

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A peer support specialist is a guide to a person in recovery.  A peer support specialist uses his/her own lived experiences and training to help discover a path of recovery that will work best for the individuals they are working with. This path will be different for every individual, and it's the peer specialist's job to help the individual find that path. Here are examples of what a peer support specialist may do to support their clients.

  • Develop a continuing and supportive relationship with the individual
  • Meet the individual where they are at physically and mentally, and allow them to grow at a comfortable pace
  • Assist the individual in finding support groups and meaningful activities
  • Identify goals the individual would like to pursue, and assist in creating a plan to achieve these goals
  • Find activities with others in recovery
  • Navigate resources to help the individual find employment
  • Support the individual find housing and basic needs for living
  • Help the individual learn how to cope with feelings and emotions in healthy ways
  • Guide the individual to help them find purpose and meaning in a healthy life

This list is just some of the things a peer support specialist may do, but is by no means a complete list. It is up to the peer specialist to identify the ways that they can best support others in recovery, and to become healthy and productive members in society.