Why Peer Support is Important for Women Veterans

Based upon the fundamental principles of recovery, Peer Support Services (PSS) are specialized therapeutic interactions conducted by self-identified current or former consumers of behavioral health services who are trained and certified to offer support and assistance in helping others in their recovery and community-integration process. Peer support is intended to inspire hope in individuals that recovery is not only possible, but probable.

Women veterans often have lower levels of social support than male veterans , thus may be particularly primed to benefit from peer support.

Peer support is an evidence-based approach to increasing engagement in health-related self-management through the provision of social support by someone of similar background and life experience.

Peer support is particularly well-suited for populations sharing a common identity and sense of commitment to communal well-being, such as military service veterans.

A lack of social support can lead to feelings of isolation and exacerbate mental health problems. Women veteran patients might benefit from more-focused efforts to connect them with peer support, social enrichment, recreational activities, and other opportunities to interact with other women veterans and get involved in their communities.