The Peer Bridger Program serves to bridge the gap for people discharging from Western State Hospital and other community psychiatric hospitals in returning to the community.
What is a Peer Bridger?
A Peer Bridger is a Washington State Certified Peer Specialist who has personally dealt with a major mental health condition and is successfully managing their recovery.
They have overcome many of the challenges facing people with mental illness discharged from a state hospital, making them uniquely qualified to support individuals on their recovery journey.
What do Peer Bridgers Do?
Peer Bridgers use their lived experience to provide support, guidance, and hope to those dealing with behavioral health issues.
A Peer Bridger develops a relationship of trust with the participant. In developing this trust, the Peer Bridger may function as a role model, peer support, a mentor, a teacher, an advocate, and an ally as he or she communicates hope and encouragement.
Peer Bridgers help set the stage and lay the ground work for independence. They work with the peer in identifying their skills and assisting in the development of skills that are needed to succeed in the community.
Peer Bridgers support the peer in establishing a wider circle of support in the community and enhanced social activities.