In addition to psychotherapy, medication and hospitalization another effective tool in the treatment of serious mental illness is peer support.

A recent article in the online version of Reuters looks into a study on peer support that found that sharing lived experience with others is a powerful and highly effective tool in the mental health arsenal.

According to reporter Lisa Rapaport, “One year after they left the hospital, patients who received peer counseling were 34 percent less likely to have a repeat admission than people who didn’t get this type of support”.

The lead researcher for the study, Professor Sonia Johnson, DM, of University College London points out that “It’s impressive to find that a fairly short and simple intervention with someone with their own experience of mental health problems has succeeded where some rather more elaborate interventions have failed”.

Peer support involves people with lived experience with mental disorders who have been trained to work with others suffering from the same disorder, offering advice, strategies and other information in regularly scheduled sessions.

You can access the complete research study for free via the online version of The Lancet.

If you are not familiar with peer support and how it works, you can find numerous articles online.

Peer support is gaining in recognition and popularity in both the US and the UK.

So if you’re having trouble finding support for your mental health situation, you might consider looking for a sympathetic helping hand to get you through.

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