One of the most painful aspects of mental illness is the social difficulty – feeling like you’re not good enough or that you don’t belong can be stressful, depressing, and can even worsen symptoms.
Peer support services offer a way for adults challenged by mental illness to socialize, gain confidence, and learn communication skills in a safe yet stimulating environment. By engaging with and talking to people who are in similar situations, our clients find themselves learning social skills in a way that is both effective and fun.
One in five adults in the United States experience mental health issues in one way or another every year. That number is far higher than most people realize. Unfortunately, there is still some stigma surrounding mental health that gets in the way of having productive discussions about solutions and treatments for people who struggle with it. Many times, those with mental health issues are pushed away when they need help the most, instead of seeking help through counseling or other services.
Mental illness is particularly difficult because it can be self-replicating. A person with mental illness may struggle with having conversations, speaking about certain topics, or simply being out in a public space. Because of the alienation they feel, they may turn against treatment, or may not know that treatment is an option. They can also turn to alcohol and drugs to self-medicate, which can lead to overdose or addiction.
By giving people a way to communicate ideas and work with others in a controlled environment, Valley Behavioral Health strives to be the light that illuminates the way out of this vicious cycle.
Research has shown time and time again that self-guided peer support groups lead to significant, tangible improvements in symptoms, including more effective communication and less antisocial behavior. This research continues to provide reasons why support groups are effective when combined with other, traditional methods of therapy.
Peer support also gives the gift of friendship to those who, tragically, may not have had access in the past. One of the most powerful treatments for mental illness is having someone you can lean on, and having someone who might need to lean on you.
Peer support has also been shown to be correlated with a decrease in hospitalizations for the participants. This is an extremely important concept. At Valley Behavioral Health, we want to be as preventative as possible. Anything we can do to reduce the pain and struggle of our clients as early as possible is a priority for us.
Fresh Start is a day treatment program run by Certified Peer Specialists that gives adults challenged by mental illness a place where they can socialize, learn skills and share talents with other clients. Our staff of trained mental health professionals share their personal stories of challenge and triumph to connect with clients on a personal level.
All of our specialists have lived with mental health issues in the past, which gives them a unique perspective when it comes to the benefits of communication and overcoming the social challenges associated with mental illness.
Peer Support is one of the most effective ways for those with mental illnesses to see improvements in symptoms. Valley Behavioral Health prides itself in its ability to provide peer support services that are unmatched in both effectiveness and comfort.
We have trained, certified staff that has years of experience in mental health communication and treatment. With tons of personal stories and anecdotes, they can easily connect with our clients to provide them the most actionable advice, and to serve as examples for the benefits of peer support.
For more information on how Valley Behavioral Health can help, check out our portfolio of mental health services. If you’d like to learn more about peer support and Utah’s Fresh Start program, fill out the form below to send a message to one of our team! Mental health can be hard, but you don’t have to do it alone.
With behavioral health centers across the Intermountain West, our goal is to be as accessible as possible for our clients. Our specialized therapists ensure that each counseling appointment is a neutral and comfortable environment. All counseling appointments are confidential. Call us today for more information or fill out the form below to schedule your confidential counseling appointment.
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