Supporting Science


NAMI Peer-to-peer Support Article

People with serious mental illness are increasingly turning to popular social media, including Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, to share their illness experiences or seek advice from others with similar health conditions. This emerging form of unsolicited communication among self-forming online communities of patients and individuals with diverse health concerns is referred to as peer-to-peer support. We offer a perspective on how online peer-to-peer connections among people with serious mental illness could advance efforts to promote mental and physical wellbeing in this group.

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DBSA Peer Support Article

Research on peer support programs has shown that participation in these services yields improvement in psychiatric symptoms and decreased hospitalization (Galanter, 1988); larger social support networks (Rappaport et al., 1992); enhanced self-esteem and social functioning (Markowtiz, DeMasi, Knight, & Solka, 1996); and decreased lengths of hospital stays, as well as lower services costs overall, (Dumont & Jones, 2002).

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