January 27, 2017

From Mandy Davis, LCSW, PhD, Director, Trauma Informed Oregon

The Importance of Peer Support

Thank you so much to Malcolm Aquinas, Sandy BumpusLauren Conn, and Martha Spiers for contributing to our newsletter this month. I can’t speak enough nor as eloquently as our contributors about the importance of including the voice and experiences of those who access our services in the development, implementation, and monitoring of services. The inclusion of service users is an expectation of a trauma informed system. Peer support services were not part of my professional training; it was when I moved to Oregon that I got to experience the benefits of this type of service and how essential it is.

In our Trauma Informed Care framework we talk about finding ways to provide or restore safety, power, and self-worth. Having direct support from someone who has been through a similar experience and truly listening to what works and what hurts from those we serve is critical to achieving this. I hope that through the contributions of these blogs to the newsletter you learn about the benefits and best practices of both formal and informal ways of including the voice of those with lived experience in your programs and organizations.