S72: Intentional Peer Support

Go back to Resource Library
By September 26, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Lisa Archibald

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Service Systems, Delivery, Implementation,Workforce,Lived Experience, Recovery

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: Peer Support refers to working alongside people who have shared experiences and are able to share their knowledge, empathise with others and offer beneficial insights. Peer support can complement the formal primary care services, working with professional health care providers in supporting people to move forwards from often really challenging or "stuck" places. Peer relationships have been found to be successful as they promoting hope and the possibility of recovery. Intentional Peer Support relationships are not about ‘fixing things’ but are about resilience and building on strengths.

Intentional Peer Support is a way of thinking about and inviting transformative relationships. Practitioners learn to use relationships to see things from new angles, develop greater awareness of personal and relational patterns, and support and challenge each other in trying new things.

IPS is unique from traditional human services because:
1. Relationships are viewed as partnerships that invite and inspire both parties to learn and grow, rather than as one person needing to ‘help’ another.
2. It doesn’t start with the assumption of a problem. With IPS, each of us pays attention to how we have learned to make sense of our experiences, then uses the relationship to create new ways of seeing, thinking, and doing.
3. IPS promotes a trauma-informed way of relating. Instead of asking “What’s wrong?” we learn to ask “What happened?”
4. It examines our lives in the context of mutually accountable relationships and communities — looking beyond the mere notion of individual responsibility for change.
5. IPS encourages us to increasingly live and move towards what we want instead of focusing on what we need to stop or avoid doing.
“Intentional Peer Support is about conversation. It’s about how we know, how we create new “knowing” through dialogue, and about how we as human beings interrelate by beginning to practice the art of connection – with ourselves, the people in our lives, and the people on the planet we may think we have nothing in common with." Shery Mead

Intentional Peer Support has 3 principles. They are moving our relationships from a place of helping to one of learning, moving from focusing on the individual to developing the relationship and moving from a place of fear to one of hope.

Te Ara Korowai and Kites are consumer led services in Greater Wellington. Our services are delighted to be working alongside Intentional Peer Support Central in USA to grow and develop IPS in New Zealand. We facilitate IPS training within New Zealand and work closely with our IPS Australian partners who are delivering training primarily in Victoria.

Whilst IPS, the work of Shery Mead, emerged from the mental health psychiatric survivor movement in USA, it is really about building stronger, healthier, interconnected communities and it is a framework that can be adapted and applied in other sectors such as domestic violence, veteran support and youth work.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: The audience will have an increased understanding of the intentional peer support framework

Learning Objective 2: The audience will be able to explore whether there is a role for peer support within their services and a better understanding of the value that experts by experience can bring.

Meady, Shery (2005) Intentional Peer Support: An Alternative Approach.
Mead S., & MacNeil C,. (2006). Peer Support: What Makes It Unique? International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation. 10 (2), 29-37.

This resource is only available for subscribers. If you have a subscription, please log in. Otherwise, click here to purchase a subscription.