What is Peer Support?
Peers are people who self-identify as having lived experience of mental health and/or substance use. By sharing their lived experiences, peers bring hope to people experiencing mental health and/or substance use challenges. Peers promote a sense of belonging within the community. Peer support services help prevent relapse and promote sustained recovery from mental health and/or substance use.
Peers provide services in a variety of settings, including hospitals, jail, treatment centers, courts, schools, and crisis centers, just to name a few. Research shows us that peer supports reduce symptoms and hospitalizations; improve wellbeing, self-esteem, and increase participation in community; decrease lengths of hospital stays and cost of services; and encourage thorough and lasting recovery.
There are no medical or psychiatric criteria required to qualify for peer delivered services. For most peer support programs, individuals are NOT required to be enrolled or admitted into any mental health or addiction treatment program. All peer delivered services available in Clackamas County are peer run and free to anybody seeking support and recovery.
Mental health and addiction phone support provided by peers for peers.
DDA provides several support groups for people with co-occurring mental health experiences and substance use/addiction issues. Please visit the website for a current list of available meetings, online and in-person: DDA Meetings
DDA also provides private online groups specifically for veterans: DDA Veterans Page
Main office: 503-825-2535
The Living Room, a program of New Avenues for Youth, provides drop-in programming throughout the county. These drop-ins provide a safe, healthy, empowering space where LGBTQ+ youth, ages 14 – 20, and their allies can connect with one another and access resources. Programming is youth led and services are rooted in youth-adult partnership. Please visit their website for more information.
TLR also works with Clackamas County schools to develop Gender & Sexualities Alliances (GSA Clubs) for students and plan regular events and activities for area youth.
FolkTime provides an adult drop-in center in Oregon City. This drop-in provides companionship, education, group activities and a meal. These activities include outings into the community. The calendar of events can be found on their website.
FolkTime also provides peer outreach to individuals in Clackamas County’s rural areas and organizes group activities. One-to-one peer support for individuals receiving services at Stewart and Hilltop Clinics and individuals seeking support through Clackamas MHC Crisis Services are also available.
Main office: 503-922-2377
MHAAO provides peer support to adults struggling with their mental health or who have a dual diagnosis of addiction/substance use and mental health or those that are at risk of developing substance use issues. Peers assist individuals in accessing community support resources and developing a network of support within their community. Peers provide navigation assistance within other systems such as treatment, corrections, child welfare, hospitals, and linkages to physical health resources. MHAAO also has peers who specialize in working with adults over the age of 55; survivors of a recent drug overdose; and a team of peers that work with our Mobile Crisis Response Team. Referrals can come from anybody, including self-referral. Referrals can be made here: MHAAO Referral Form
Main office: 503-430-0917
OFSN provides one-on-one support to family members/caregivers raising a child receiving mental health services. Supports are provided to families receiving Wraparound through Clackamas Behavioral Health Division.
Online support is available to all at Reach Out Oregon.
Youth Era provides a drop-in center for youth/young adults in transition, ages 14 – 25 years located in Milwaukie. People can participate in several activities at the Drop and access Young Adult Peer Support Specialists for one-to-one peer support. The Drop offers group support and opportunities to participate in other activities in the community. There are additional Youth Peer Support Specialists to take referrals from system partners and accept self-referrals from young people looking for more individualized one-to-one support.