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Integrating Peer Support Core Values, Ethics, And Competencies into Daily Practice

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Just saying … Peer Support is a way for a person who has or is experiencing behavioral health issues to help others who are living the same experience. Oftentimes, the values, ethics, and competencies of peers lie in their humanity. This question came to CIBHS: how do you integrate peer support core values, ethics, and competencies into daily practice? In effect, the question aligns with how we practice cultural competence daily.

The values listed below align with my experience of providing peer support. I infused these in the daily practice of assisting people who are experiencing behavioral health issues.

Integrate Humanity into Daily Practice (Treat others, as you would treat yourself…)

Values – “Do no harm. Cause no pain. Do not cause trauma.”

  • Giving back – use your lived experience to model and help others in a positive manner
  • Courage – being able to share what you want to share
  • Kind – people who are experiencing behavioral health issues should receive comfort and care
  • Cautious – words can both hurt and heal, be careful how you use them
  • Helpful – practice being an advocate who teaches how to do, but does not do for
  • Creative – help people with behavioral health issues find their creative side that they can use in the healing process. Be creative and flexible in how you understand and work with people.
  • Gentle – being aggressive or overly assertive can cause more harm than good, gentleness rarely impedes recovery
  • Empathy – remember you have walked in these shoes, use this experience to understand how to help others walk towards recovery and wellness

Below are some ethical principles and competencies in a helping relationship that can guide our engagement process and daily practice.         

TRUST Principles

Trauma

Avoid a negative atmosphere that causes harm to all

Recovery

Make sure your peer support is focused on moving towards recovery and wellness

Utilization

Make sure the Peer Support Specialist is used appropriately and not just there as a token

Stigma Do not demean, ignore or push aside feelings, feedback, pain etc., and respect the human being either on the phone or sitting in front of you
Trust

Daily practice should be strength-based, where peer support acknowledges and rewards strengths; this type of competency can lead to trusting relationships that can lead to win-wins for all

Remember, ethical, value-based, and competent peer support involves tapping into your humanity because … it’s all about that hope.

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Resources

Who are you? Unleashing your Core Values | Jennifer Jones | TEDxChathamKent
https://youtu.be/c1invnTgDgY

How to believe in yourself | Jim Cathcart | TEDxDelrayBeach
https://youtu.be/-ki9-oaPwHs

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