The Intentional Peer Support Fund will speed the expansion of its innovative peer support curriculum to serve a wider variety of cultures and provide scholarships to people who would otherwise not be able to access the training. It aims to raise $50,000.
Where the problem lies
Peer support is a growing field and practice that many folks have found life-changing and which research shows is effective. Intentional Peer Support emerged as a framework to articulate what that practice could look like and to specify principles and tasks that would keep peer support unique from traditional mental health services. For nearly two decades, IPS has provided training to people all over the world and is constantly updating and improving its materials.
Over time, we have learned that there are peer-run organizations without funding to support training and individuals eager to learn IPS who have no connection to funding sources. IPS has a core value of making our training accessible, so we provide scholarships when we can, but our ability to offer subsidized training is far below the demand. We want to reach communities and organizations that do not have the financial resources to support training but are hungry for learning about peer support. We also want to make sure they have the latest, relevant materials.
Help is on the way
We propose to offer subsidized trainings and seats at trainings to organizations and individuals who do not have adequate financial resources.
Our 5-day Core Training has been developed, tested, and refined over many years in many areas of the world and is well-suited to accommodate a variety of learning styles, interests, and lifestyles. IPS has an established network of contacts with organizations that will help link us to the places and people in need. We are currently working with several organizations and initiatives to identify populations that are interested in our material but otherwise cannot afford and access it. We plan to use the funds raised here to support and continuously refine our trainings and materials in those areas.
The primary population we seek to serve is folks with lived experience as consumers/survivors/ex-patients who want to learn how to practice peer support in a more effective way. The secondary population we hope will benefit is the clinical staff those trained peer supporters practice with in their communities.
We expect that people will learn a powerful way of practicing peer support that creates and restores mutuality in relationships. We expect that the practice of Intentional Peer Support in the communities we train will increase connection between individuals, deepen understandings of worldview, and help folks move away from dependence on helping systems and toward creating two-way relationships that benefit all.