Peer support services (webpage)
Peer support is sharing and receiving practical information, experiences, and emotional support with someone else on a similar journey. People describe it as talking with someone who has “walked the walk”.
How does peer support work?
Peer support services include a range of activities, from informal conversations between peers, through to formal programs that might involve trained and paid peer support workers. Activities can be face-to-face, over the telephone or internet catch ups between two or more people, or as part of a larger group.
Who can access peer support?
Peer support services operate nationwide and address many different areas including mental illness or injury, physical injury, disability and chronic (persistent) pain. Services offer support to those injured or unwell, as well as family and friends who may be caring for, or affected by your injury or illness. Peer support services may also offer a supportive environment if you are grieving a loss or feeling isolated.
How much does peer support cost?
Peer support services are generally free. While peer support services are not funded by the TAC, the TAC recognises that they can be a valuable support for you.
Types of peer support
It is not unusual to feel sad, angry, anxious or guilty following an accident. These feelings can be overwhelming and sap your energy and confidence. Peer support services may help you to understand and control your symptoms, increase your belief in your ability to reach goals and complete tasks and cope with stress, and ultimately improve your quality of life.
Chronic (persistent) pain
Chronic or persistent pain is pain which continues beyond the expected recovery time for an injury. If you have persistent pain, a peer support service may help you to understand your pain, get back in control of your symptoms and introduce you to a supportive environment with other people who understand some of how you feel.
Peer support services can be an integral part of returning to independent living following serious injury or illness or for those whose living circumstances have changed. The contacts you make may help you to understand and engage in treatment and therapy with a more positive outlook and to reconnect with your community at the right time.
Can I use my regular treatment or therapy services while I am using a peer support service?
Yes, peer support services can complement your rehabilitation treatment or therapy. However, peer support services should not take the place of medical or allied health treatments. If you have any concerns about engaging with a peer support service or program you should check first with your GP or treating team.
Where can I get more information?
Speak to your GP or treating practitioner. Your local council or community health centre may also have information on peer support services available in your local area.
For further information related to Mental Health and/or Persistent Pain, visit the TAC website and search for ‘mental health and persistent pain resources.’
Where do I find peer support services?
There are a large number of peer support services across Victoria and Australia. Listed are a few tools that may help you identify the supports available in your community. This information may be helpful to TAC clients, their families and carers.
The Better Health Channel
A resource aimed to help people understand and manage their health and medical needs. A search under disability groups and networks will identify disability networks, support organisations and groups.
The Disability Gateway
A resource improving access to disability information and services across Australia for people with disability, their families and carers.
Amber Community - a road incident support and education service
T: 1300 367 797
Peer support services for Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)
T: 1800 677 579
Peer support services for chronic (persistent) pain
Peer support services for mental health
Grow mental wellbeing programs
For those over 18 who provide significant support to a person with a mental health illness.
T: 1800 558 268
For those between 12 and 25 years of age with mental health issues.
T: (03) 9027 0100
T: 1300 224 636
Anxiety Disorders Association of Australia
Online support groups
T: (03) 9853 8089
Mental Health Foundation of Australia
T: 1300 643 287
Carer Helpline: 1300 554 660
Service Information: 1300 286 463
Peer support services for physical injury
Limbs 4 Life
T: 1300 782 231