Staying safe while supporting peers

Peer support is a form of mental health care that’s growing in popularity.

Benefits include reduced isolation, empowerment, collaborative learning and connections with people who’ve had similar experiences. Some people say the relaxed environment helps them express issues they would struggle to share in a formal setting.

But it’s important to remember these benefits come with challenges.

Participants support others by drawing on their own experiences. While this support is authentic, it can be emotionally draining.

Triggers, emotional exhaustion, burnout and compassion fatigue are just some of the risks people face.

So how can people protect their emotions while participating in a peer support program? We asked members of SANE’s online peer support service, SANE Forums, for their tips to manage emotions while providing this essential support.

What risks do you experience?

What boundaries do you set?

What self-care measures do you use?

SANE Forum member self-care 'tips' for peer support

Here at SANE we recommend that members create a self-care plan containing some of the above tips, to reduce the risk of burn out and compassion fatigue. Check out our recent Topic Tuesday for more information on self-care plans.

More to read . . .