Peer support is, first and foremost, for people who need the support of an individual with a similar disability or illness to resolve their problems.
The objectives of peer support are to support the client in coping with their disability or illness, to boost their motivation and self-confidence and to prepare them for job seeking and working life or the continuation of work.
The target group of the service is unemployed individuals with decreased working ability, jobseekers who are studying or who have received a lay-off notice and those who are already employed. Peer support may be needed, above all, by individuals whose health has (unexpectedly) deteriorated or who are facing difficulties due to a disability or illness.
Peer support is the exchange of knowledge, experience and advice between individuals with a similar disability or illness. The adviser must have a similar disability or illness to the person or people they advise, and must have received peer support training.
Peer support includes:
• emotional, social and practical support based on experience. The peer supporter shares the knowledge and experience which helped them cope in a similar situation;
• empowerment i.e. finding opportunities and solutions and building up the ability to organise their life as independently as possible;
• the provision of advice on how to cope with health problems;
• sharing work experience, encouraging and motivating the client to find a job or continue working;
• if necessary, providing advice on and recommending appropriate assistive equipment and sharing know-how.