Defining Self-Help and Peer Support 336
The History of the Self-Help Movement 338
Self-Advocacy and the Ex-Patient/
Consumer/Survivor Movement 339 Collaboration between Consumers and
Diagnoses 345 Access to Self-Help 346 The Story of David 347 Beyond Self-Help: Categories of Peer-Provided Services 349 Peer-Operated Services 349 Peer Partnerships 351 Peer Employees 352 Research on the Effectiveness of Self-Help and Peer-Delivered Services 352
Research on Self-Help Groups 353 Peer-Provided Services: Feasibility and
Perceived Benefits 353 Are Peer Providers as Effective as Other
Providers? 354 Are Peer-Delivered Services Better Than
Other Services? 355 Benefits to Peer Providers and Mental Health
Systems 356 Limitations of the Studies and Ongoing Research Challenges 357
Challenges for Peer Providers 358
Relationships with Nonconsumer
Providers 359 The Issue of Disclosure 360
Supports and Professional
Development 362 Other Influential Roles for Consumers 364 Summary 366 Class Exercises 367 References 367
This chapter outlines the important contributions that people who have been diagnosed with a psychiatric disability make to their own rehabilitation and the rehabilitation of others. Like the field of alcoholism and drug addiction treatment, there is a long tradition of mutual self-help among persons who have severe mental illnesses. Today, consumers are also moving into professional psychiatric rehabilitation service provider positions in larger numbers. They are involved in operating peer support agencies, participating on boards of directors, and conducting sophisticated research. Consumer involvement in all aspects of the rehabilitation process is a fundamental principle of psychiatric rehabilitation (PsyR) that is being increasingly achieved. This chapter will answer the following questions:
1. How have self-help groups and the self-advocacy movement influenced PsyR?
2. What types of PsyR services are provided by people in recovery?
3. What are some of the important issues related to peer-provided services?
4. What are some of the benefits and challenges of peer-provided services?
5. Should a practitioner who has a mental illness diagnosis disclose his or her condition to other professionals?
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