Exploring Peer Support as an Approach to Supporting Self Management

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This report provides detailed findings from a feasibility study exploring: how a peer and peer support are currently defined in long term conditions; the kinds of peer support currently available for people with long term conditions; who does and would benefit most from peer support and how well their needs are currently met; gaps and challenges to current delivery and the potential for further developing peer support for long term conditions.

It concludes that the type of individuals with long term conditions who were identified as needing peer support were those who are at risk of developing mental health problems, and notes that the peer support that is given, regardless of the condition, is usually centred on the mental wellbeing aspects of self management.

The study identifies that good mental wellbeing is essential for successful self management and that peer support is ideally suited to contribute to meeting the emotional and mental health needs of people with long term conditions. It notes that this is something that other professionals do not always have the time or unique insights (that peers can offer) to do well.

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