Hope and Wholeness for All

This Is the Overarching Value of Peer Support

Core Value Moving towards hope and wholeness for all:
Acknowledgement All human beings long to know and be known – to be seen for who we are, and deeply heard, without someone trying to fix or save for us.
Mutuality The peer relationship is mutual and reciprocal. Peer support breaks down hierarchies. The peer support worker and the peer equally co-create the relationship, and both participate in boundary creation.
Strength-Based It is more motivating to move towards something rather than away from a problem. We intentionally build on already existing strengths. We thoughtfully and purposefully move in the direction of flourishing, rather than only responding to pain and oppression.
Self-Determination Self-determination is the right to make one’s own decisions, and the freedom from coercion. We support the facilitation and creation of an environment where people can feel free to tap into their inner motivation.

Peer support workers don’t fix or save. We acknowledge and hold space for resilience and inner wisdom.

Respect, Dignity and Equity All human beings have intrinsic value. Peer support workers acknowledge that deep worth by:

  • practicing cultural humility and sensitivity
  • serving with a trauma-informed approach
  • offering generosity of assumption[1] in communication and conflict
  • mindfully addressing personal biases

Peer support is about meeting people where they are at and serving others with a knowledge of equity.

Belonging and Community Peer support acknowledges that all human beings need to belong and be a part of a community. Peer support recognizes that many people have barriers that keep them from developing community. We actively work towards deconstructing those social blockades that prevent inclusion and acceptance. Peer support workers serve with a social justice mindset, and intentionally practice empathy, compassion & self-compassion.
Curiosity We are always intentional about how curiosity and inquiry support connection, growth, learning and engagement.

This curiosity isn’t fueled by personal pain but by a genuine interest in connection. We encourage curiosity while respecting the boundaries and protecting the privacy of the people we support.

We are continually curious, but not invasive, while challenging assumptions and narratives. We ask powerful questions. We offer generosity of assumption to those who think differently than we do. We know that listening and asking questions are more important than providing answers.

  1. Note on the meaning of the term “generosity of assumption” from the glossary of terms: Assumptions happen when we don’t know the whole story and allow our brains to fill in the blanks. Often, we make negative assumptions about people or situations. Generosity of assumption means that we extend someone the most generous interpretation of their intent, actions, or words.


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Post-Secondary Peer Support Training Curriculum Copyright © 2022 by Jenn Cusick is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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