Youth Peer Support is a unique service that is provided by young adults who have lived experience receiving mental health services as a youth. Youth Peer Support Specialists (YPSS) self-identify as people who have received mental health services, and who are willing and prepared to use their experience in helping others. YPSSs provide support to other youth who are currently experiencing a serious emotional disturbance through shared activities and interventions.
Goals of Youth Peer Support (YPS) include:
YPS is delivered in three ways:
1. Direct Support
2. Information Sharing
3. Skill Building
YPSSs are individuals with direct lived experience with mental health systems and are between the ages of 18 and 26. YPSSs are willing and prepared to share their experiences with others who are currently receiving services in order to:
YPSSs engage and work with youth during different phases of treatment. Youth Peer Support is not a stand-alone service, but will be built into ongoing support plans along with other interventions. Youth Peer Support activities vary from one person to another and are based on the needs, priorities and interests of the youth peer. The youth peer relationship helps identify and define activities. An effective plan will outline a range of youth peer support activities that an YPSS may deliver to: