People taking part in a peer support group had a readmission rate of only 17% compared with an expected 30%.

More info: A 3 month study in Australia on the effectiveness of peer support for people with varied mental health diagnoses found that only 17% (8) were readmitted to the hospital. Of the 8 people readmitted, 4 were for physical health reasons. From the source: “Only a small proportion of consumers relapsed to hospital either during or directly after the support period (n¼8). This represents approximately 17% of referrals, well below the...

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Involvement with peer mentors is associated with better social functioning and community adjustment.

More info: 60 individuals with a mental health diagnosis of “schizophrenia,” “schizoaffective disorder,” or “bipolar disorder” and at least one psychiatric hospitalization were followed for 7 months. Social functioning and employment of problem-centered coping strategies were higher amongst those who participated in peer-run programs and self-help groups than amongst people who received only services as usual from their Community...

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Peer mentors help foster hope, self-efficacy, and a sense of empowerment amongst people with a mental health diagnosis

More info: 333 individuals with a mental health diagnosis were followed for 6 months. Hope, self-efficacy, and empowerment rose by a statistically significant amount amongst those who participated in a peer-run recovery course (“Recovery is Up To You”), while these measures stayed about the same or dropped amongst people who did not participate in the course. From the source: “We found a positive effect of the peer-run course on...

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A schizophrenia study from the 1970s showed those treated with psychosocial care and limited use of antipsychotics had a lower relapse rate and earlier discharge date than those who received psychiatric treatment-as-usual with a neuroleptic.

More info: 80 young men diagnosed with “schizophrenia” were followed for 3 years.  Those treated without drugs were discharged sooner than participants who received the neuroleptic (chlorpromazine), and only 35% of those treated without drugs experienced relapse within a year of discharge.  45% of those treated with the neuroleptic  experienced relapse. From the source: “This study indicates that among young acute schizophrenic males...

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In the decade before the arrival of Thorazine (a neuroleptic) in asylum medicine (1945 to 1955), about 60% of first-episode schizophrenia patients admitted to a state mental hospitals would be discharged within 18 months.

More info: Researchers from the National Institutes of Mental Health [NIMH] followed first episode psychotic patients admitted to Warren State Hospital in Pennsylvania from 1946-1950.  More than 70% of the individuals who had experienced first-episode psychosis would be living independently in the community three years after initial hospitalization. These patients were not on antipsychotic medication. From the source: “According to...

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