A Framework for Defining the Role of Peer-Based Approaches in Mental Health Promotion
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Peer-based approaches have become a popular health promotion strategy among marginalised young and other hard to reach populations who may not access mainstream support services. However, very few evaluation studies have been conducted to justify the continued and safe use of such programmes. There is also a confusing array of terminology and approaches evident in the field. As a result, practitioners have limited evidence describing the outcomes delivered by peer-based approaches, and few tools to assess when and where a peer-based approach is appropriate. This paper presents a framework for understanding and positioning the role of peer-based approaches in mental health promotion. A case study is included to illustrate application of the framework. Using the framework as a starting point, practitioners may be able to formulate more accurate, realistic and consistent outcomes for peer-based programmes. Consequently, more robust evaluation strategies may be developed, resulting in additional empirical data to support the continued use of peer-based programmes.
Copyright © 2007 The Clifford Beers Foundation. The published version of this article is available via the Related Links field.
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