Peer to Peer Support
Peer to Peer Support
The Peer Support Programs in the Tri-Counties (San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura) selects only the best and most qualified to be team members. Those selected must be credible, experienced, trusted and held in high esteem. They must be sensitive to diversity and multi-cultural components within the agencies. Throughout Southern California there are over one hundred trained Peer Support Team members ready to listen and support you.
The Goals of Peer Support:
- Provide an empathetic listening ear
- Provide low level psychological intervention
- Identify colleagues who may be at risk to themselves or others
- Facilitate pathways to professional help through At Ease International
Peer Support Training and Accreditation:
- Listening skills
- Psychological first aid
- Informed on the referral options
- Trained in basic skills to fulfill the role
“Peer to Peer Support” is about peers, or “people of mutual respect” helping each other, i.e., firefighters helping firefighters or police officers helping police officers. The shared experiences of peers foster the initial trust and credibility necessary for developing relationships in which individuals are willing to open up and discuss their reactions and concerns after a critical incident.
Peer relationships are effective because they are built around this mutual understanding, respect and trust. These commonalities contribute to the credibility necessary for developing relationships in which individuals are willing to open up and discuss their problems despite concerns about stigma.
Peer-to-peer programs facilitate opportunities for individuals to talk with trained peer supporters who serve as a “bridge” to connect with Mental Health Professionals (MHP), through At Ease International. Peer Support Team members can offer educational and social support and provide avenues for additional help if needed.
If you would like to be connected to a Peer Support Team Member please contact Tony Pighetti (retired firefighter from Santa Barbara City Fire) at (805)448-4156 or by email [email protected]