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5 Reasons to Become a Peer Support Specialist

peer support specialist

June 16 2021 - The National Institute of Mental Health reports that almost one in five adults in the U.S. live with a mental disorder.

Mental health is a pressing matter in our world.  If you or a loved one are in this group, you may have considered entering the mental health field. But this could appear daunting due to the education expenses required to become a psychologist or therapist.

Fortunately, there's a rewarding career option that is much more accessible. Those who take this route help peers navigate their mental disorders.

Here are five reasons to become a peer support specialist.

1. You Get to Share Your Story

Many people who experience mental health issues find sharing their stories to be incredibly rewarding. Peer support specialists embrace this as a fundamental part of their job.

Sharing one's personal experience with mental disorders is also a great way to cultivate empathy through relationship building. It helps one learn about other people's life experiences, creating connections that wouldn't have happened any other way.

2. It's Shown to Improve Your Own Mental Health

Certified peer support specialists often report experiencing improved mental health for themselves. According to a study conducted by Shoshanna Liptzin Shear and Mark S Salzer, peer support specialists see improved interpersonal competence, better recovery management, and improved professional growth.

Rarely does one find a career that is life-changing for everyone involved.

3. You'll Serve as a Role Model for Recovery

Navigating a mental disorder can be one of the most trying experiences in a person's life. Even if they have a large support network, it can often be difficult to find a path forward.

This is where peer support specialists' unique qualifications come in. Having gone through similar experiences,this type of specialist serves as an ideal partner for people seeking recovery.

4. You Get to Be Creative

Those working in peer support specialist jobs are responsible for planning exercises and activities that help their peers work through their mental health struggles. They have ample opportunity to help them engage with their feelings.

In this profession, you could craft a number of different facilitated activities that help people use their creativity to work through their struggles. There are plenty of ways to foster engagement.

5. Peers Come to You by Choice

People who seek peer support do so on a voluntary basis. There is no requirement that they partake in these services.

This means the individuals you'll be working with will be more open to you, which helps you make a greater impact. You'll be able to help people realize their full potential.

Change Lives as a Peer Support Specialist

Becoming a peer support specialist could be a life-giving career choice. Your shared experience with patients serves as the foundation, and your success is defined by how you connect with those on a similar journey.

If you're interested in helping people who experience mental disorders better understand their condition and thrive, read more of our career development articles today.



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