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The Network Approach to Peer Support

The Network is successful in offering supports by utilizing Peer best practices: meeting people where they are in the community, implementing peer-informed intervention techniques, and using the three principles of peer support, as developed by one of our programs, BestNow! - 

1. The Power of Mutuality

  • Each individual is assumed to have the best knowledge about themselves 

  • People who receive peer support guide their own services 

  • Peers are given the freedom and responsibility to communicate what works best for them 


2. The Power of People Finding Their Own Solutions 

  • Peer Support workers' role is not to "fix: the problems our Peers are facing 

  • Peer Support workers are there to listen and let our Peers know that we believe in them 


3. ​The Power of "Being With" 

  • Just being in the present with a person builds trust 

  • Peer Support workers accept participants for who they are and honor the choices they make 

Why Peer Support?
Information is taken from "Value of Peer Support", 2017,  SAMHSA ​ More about the Value of Peer Support can be found here

What is Peer Support?

Peer support encompasses a  range of activities and interactions between people who share similar experiences of being diagnosed with mental health conditions, substance use disorders, or both. This mutuality is called “peerness”—between a  peer support worker and person in or seeking recovery promotes connection and inspires hope. Peer support offers a  level of acceptance, understanding, and validation not found in many other professional relationships (Mead & McNeil, 2006). By sharing their own lived experience and practical guidance, peer support workers help people to develop their own goals, create strategies for self-­‐empowerment, and take concrete steps towards building fulfilling, self-­‐determined lives for themselves

What Does A Peer Support Worker Do?

A peer support worker is someone with the lived experience of recovery from a  mental health condition, substance use disorder, or both. They provide support to others experiencing similar challenges. They provide non-­clinical, strengths-­based support and are “experientially credentialed” by their own recovery journey (Davidson, et al., 1999).

3238 Adeline Street, Berkeley, CA 94703  510.652.7451

Want to become a Peer Support Worker?

Join the free BestNow! training program today!

One of The Network's five programs, BestNow!, offers a comprehensive free Peer Support Specialist training program. Our Peer Support Specialist 80-hour training program will enable you to be ready to become certified as a Peer Support Specialist in the state of California. 

BestNow! supports folx with lived mental health and/or substance use challenges to empower themselves to join the behavioral health system as professionals, using their personal experience and training to support others in their recovery and wellness. 

In the BestNow! training, participants will learn to engage with our Peer values, including meeting each person where they are; Using our personal experiences to support our peers; And encouraging individuals to self-advocate and find their own solutions. 

To apply to BestNow's Peer Specialist Training program, click here.

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