Tell Your Story of Peer Support

Apr 16, 2014
By: Paolo Del Vecchio, M.S.W., Director, Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

This post originally appeared on

SAMHSA's National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day is on May 8, 2014. Learn how to get involved.

The transition to adulthood is an exciting time that is full of possibilities. However, young adulthood can also be a time of uncertainty and challenge.

Challenges can include what to do about school or a job, where to live, or how to make decisions about health care. Young people who have mental and/or substance use disorders may find this transition especially difficult or overwhelming.

Peer support is critical in making the transition to adulthood easier for young people with behavioral health conditions. 

To highlight the importance of peer support, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is making it the national focus of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day (Awareness Day) 2014.

Peer support is all about getting help from someone who has been there. It’s about people with similar lived experience who can listen, understand, give hope, and provide support and guidance when needed.

Peer support is a critical component to recovery-oriented services and systems.

Get involved in supporting Awareness Day 2014. Beginning on April 15 and through Awareness Day on May 8, SAMHSA is hosting a “hashtag showcase” where young adults across the country who have experience with mental and/or substance use disorders can share their personal stories of resilience and peer support.

Using the hashtag #IGetSupportFrom, young adults will have the opportunity to share photos, videos, tweets, and status updates showing how peer support has helped them tackle challenges related to housing,  education, employment, and health care.

Use the hashtag in messages posted on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Tumblr.

It’s time to make your voice heard and demonstrate the value of peer support in helping young adults successfully navigate this new stage in their lives.

Visit SAMHSA’s National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day page for more information.

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Tagged Youth | Families | Observances | Help