Amaze is developing a peer support model for the autism community
Amaze has been funded to develop an evidence-based model of peer support suitable for autistic people, their families and carers. This toolkit will provide guidance to individuals or groups who are starting new programs or running existing ones. Globally, there is growing evidence that peer support may influence behaviour change and health and wellbeing outcomes for people living with a range of disabilities and conditions. While ‘peer support’ has been interpreted differently across sectors, it generally involves a created social network for people, with similar characteristics and challenges, to share experiences and knowledge, and provide social support in a non-hierarchical and mutually beneficial way.
As part of this project, Amaze has undertaken a literature review of peer support models across the disability, healthcare and mental health sectors. The literature review will be used alongside information gained through collaboration with other peer support groups and organisations to develop the toolkit. Broadly, the review finds that no one model of peer support can suit all purposes or participants as there are a range of social and cultural factors likely to influence how peer support will be best delivered and received. However, while each model of peer support has its own strengths and limitations, there is consistent emerging evidence that regardless of the model utilised, best practice in peer support will always involve certain key elements which are detailed in the review.
The literature review can be found by clicking here