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Peer support is getting help from someone who has been there. People with similar experiences may be able to listen, give hope and guidance toward recovery in a way that is different, and is just as valuable, as professional services. Peer services include mutual support groups, peer-run programs and services in traditional mental health agencies provided by peer support specialists. While peer support groups may be composed entirely of people who have simply learned through their own experience, some types of peer providers undergo training and certification to qualify. In addition to direct services, many peer-run organizations advocate to improve opportunities for people recovering from mental illnesses. NAMI Massacusetts has compiled a list of Peer Support Resources available in Massachusetts for you! Check out the opportunities that interest you.

Emergency Service Program (ESP) Community-Based Location: Each ESP will operate at least one location in the catchment area where its services will also be available. These locations will be open a minimum of 12 hours per day on weekdays and eight hours per day on weekends. Some of these sites will be open 24 hours per day. Peer Specialist services are incorporated into the ESPs’ community-based locations. Call 1-877-382-1609 to locate one near you.

Adult Community Crisis Stabilization (CCS): Emergency Service Programs (ESP) operate CCS programs that provide staff secure, safe, and structured crisis treatment services in a community-based program, which serves as a less restrictive and voluntary alternative to inpatient care. This program serves ages 18 and older. Call 1-877-382-1609 to locate one near you.

NAMI Connection Recovery Support Groups click here

Support Groups sponsored  by other organizations click here

Online Support click here

The Warmline is a call in service that provides the mental health consumer (Peer) community with a place to turn if they need someone to talk to. The Warmline staff are mental health consumers that have received the training and education needed to provide Warmline services to the community. All calls are kept confidential. What you say is kept between you and the Warmline staff. The only exception is when the call is considered a crisis; in this case the call will be referred to the crisis service.

NAMI Greater Boston Consumer Advocacy/Affiliate Network, is a grassroots organization primarily consisting of mental health consumers

Consumer and Family Resource Guide – A listing of information and referral resources available from the DMH Information and Referral Line – Call 800-221-0053 or visit their website at

The Transformation Center is a peer-operated center with a mental health focus on wellness and life recovery through dialogue, education, systems change advocacy, and peer support. We currently offer training for Peer Specialist Certification, Leadership Academy, WRAP Facilitation, Recovery Conversations for Providers and more. The Transformation Center works closely with the six (6) Recovery Learning Communities (RLCs) across the state. RLCs offer training and support for peers working and volunteering to promote wellness and recovery in the local communities.

Recovery Learning Communities (RLC) are peer-run organizations that work together in bringing unique services and opportunities to people with serious mental illness and frequently co-occurring disorders such as drug or alcohol abuse and/or dependence. These services include employment, social activities, outreach, education, and training conferences. These services are provided by peers for peers in a peer sensitive environment. Many of these RLC’s have satellite sites so ask if there’s one near you. Here are the links to visit the websites:

Western MA

Southeast MA

Northeast MA

Metro Suburban MA

Metro Boston MA

Central MA

The Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition (MCC) has 32 clubhouses around the state. Participation in the clubhouse is free to those who have a serious and persistent mental illness. Clubhouses are founded on the belief that rehabilitation for people who are working to recover from the effects of mental illness is greatly facilitated when individuals participate in meaningful work, including paid employment. Clubhouse members can drop in during the day, participate in social activities and receive computer and other training. To find a clubhouse near you.

The Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, located in Boston, Massachusetts, is affiliated with Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Boston University. The Center is a research, training, and service organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons who have psychiatric disabilities by improving the effectiveness of people, programs, and service systems.

Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP): People with mental health issues can have hope, control over their lives, develop self-directed wellness plans, and recover, working toward meeting their own life dreams and goals.   http://www.mentalhealthrecovery.com/ WRAP is an evidence-based program: WRAP – an evidence-based program (PDF).  To find a WRAP class near you contact the person at this link: http://transformation-center.org/training/wrap/index.shtml Many RLC’s offer WRAP classes so you can contact the one that is in your area to find out if a class is scheduled.

M-POWER is a member run organization of mental health consumers and current and former psychiatric patients. We advocate for political and social change within the mental health system, the community, city, and statewide.

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities has developed a wide-ranging collection of resources for the field.  Our knowledge translation activities include peer reviewed publications in national journals, nearly one hundred toolkits, monographs, and guidebooks designed to provide policy and practical guidance to consumers and providers working to expand community participation, and a catalogue of exemplary programs.  All of these can be accessed here, at no cost. The UPenn Collaborative on Community Integration is A Rehabilitation Research & Training Center Promoting Communitytion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities, funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation rch (NIDRR).

Independent Living Centers of Massachusetts, provide Information and Referral, Skills Training and Peer Mentoring Services.

StrengthofUs is an online community designed to empower young adults through resource sharing and peer support and to build connections for those navigating the unique challenges and opportunities in the transition-age years.  StrengthofUs provides opportunities for you to connect with your peers and offer support, encouragement and advice and share your real world experiences, personal stories, creativity, resources and ultimately, a little bit of your wonderful and unique self. It is a user-generated and user-driven community; so basically it’s whatever you make it. Everything here has been developed and created by and for young adults with you specifically in mind…because we think you’re worth it! We hope every time you visit, you find hope, encouragement, support and most of all, the strength to live your dreams and goals.

If you live with depression or bipolar disorder —or are simply seeking inspiration and support for living a full, healthy and happy life—the Facing Us Clubhouse is your online home for wellness. The Facing Us Clubhouse is a program brought to you by The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA).

Whatadifference – this site is here for people living with mental illness —and their friends. You’ll find tools to help in the recovery process, and you can also learn about the different kinds of mental illnesses, read real-life stories about support and recovery, and interact with the video to see how friends can make all the difference.

The STAR Center provides Support, Technical Assistance and Resources to assist consumer-operated and consumer-helper programs in meeting the needs of under-served populations.  Specifically, the STAR Center’s focus areas are cultural competence and diversity in the context of mental health recovery and consumer self-help and self-empowerment.

Samaritans’ primary suicide prevention program is the 24 Hour/7 day Telephone Befriending Service offered from two locations in Boston and Framingham. Anyone in need can use the support of Samaritans, which is free, confidential, anonymous, and is accessible any time of the day or night. Samaritan volunteers offer callers uncritical acceptance and respect in a comforting and understanding manner. In addition to supporting depressed, lonely and suicidal callers, this program also supports those calling with concerns for others. You can call them at 877-870-4673.

Samariteens is a teen help line that provides confidential peer support and understanding to teens who are struggling with feelings of depression, loneliness and stress. From 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends, this service is staffed by volunteers between the ages of 15 and 18; outside those hours, calls are answered by adult volunteers. Teens call 800-252-8336.

SouthCoast Compeer is a local affiliate of Compeer (companion + peer), an award-winning international volunteer program that uses the power of friendship to help people in mental health recovery live happier lives by reducing social isolation and increasing the likelihood of community integration. A complement to traditional therapy, SouthCoast Compeer is based at UMass Dartmouth and serves Fall River, New Bedford, Taunton, and the surrounding towns.

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse – Directory of Consumer-Driven Services

DisabilityInfo.org is maintained by New England INDEX. Contained within this site is a wealth of information for people with disabilities, their friends, families and the people who serve them. Information within this site focuses on Massachusetts

Massachusetts Adult Day Services Association, Find an Adult Day Services Facility in your area.

National Adult Day Services, Find an Adult Day Program or Services near You.

Sowing seeds of mental health recovery, resources, information, and support while growing consumer leadership. http://www.nwseedsofchange.org/

Magellan health services’ new online learning tools support individual resiliency and recovery and offer free resource available to families, mental health consumers and providers. The e-Learning Center is a free resource that currently hosts 10 interactive “e-courses” in English and in Spanish, offering in-depth strategies and techniques for promoting resiliency and recovery. The e-courses include testimonials of personal experiences that provide motivation and each can be completed in 30- 45 minutes: www.magellanhealth.com/training