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Peer Support and Self-help

What Is Peer Support?

Peer support simply means getting support from people who are, or have been, in the same position as you. Sharing experiences can give you greater insight into your problems, provide new ideas for tackling them and let you benefit from the experience of others.

Peer support is available from the very beginning of your recovery journey in Southwark:

Service User Council

The Service User Council recruits and trains service user representatives to work in every local drug and alcohol service. Their duties include organising regular service user meetings and coffee mornings and raising service user concerns with service managers.

Peer mentor support

Peer mentors are experienced service users who have been trained to support others during their treatment and recovery journey.

They are available to work with someone from the time they first enters treatment through to its completion. For example, a peer mentor can sit in on someone’s Initial Assessment – if that person requests it. But peer mentors will not get involved without the client’s consent. It is up to the person in treatment to decide if, when and how they use the peer mentor service.

Mutual Aid Groups

Mutual aid groups are run entirely by their members. They may meet in the premises of particular drug or alcohol services but those services have no say on how the groups are run.

There are many models of mutual aid with varying approaches and set-ups for different groups of people. The most widespread are the ’12-step’ fellowships like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous.  But there are other groups such as the SMART Recovery Groups run by Evolve that offer different approaches.

You can get details of local groups from your peer mentor or staff at a drug or alcohol treatment agency. Further information is also available on this website under Some Useful Telephone Numbers .