Why is Peer Support Important?

Peer support serves as a resource that first responders can utilize to receive emotional and mental support when going through difficult times. Having a peer support team can aid in critical incident debriefing, support for co-workers in crisis, meeting family needs, death notifications/ funeral planning, and knowing when there is a change or a need of a co-worker.

A peer support team is just that, A TEAM. As a member of this team, you have many responsibilities. Holding one another accountable and being able to trust your teammates is essential. Peer support members set an example of how to implement physical and mental wellness practices into everyday life. It is important that you, as a peer support member, are “practicing what you preach”. For example, if you are facing your own challenges and not taking care of yourself, it will be difficult for your peers seeking help, to trust you.

Roles of a Team Leader

  • Delegating tasks to teammates
  • Encourage continued training among teammates
  • Communication with the department
  • Ensuring teammates have the resources they need
  • Meeting the needs of department personnel
  • Mentoring teammates with less experience
  • Boosting morale
  • Holding teammates accountable
  • Setting an example of a good peer support team member


Benefits of Peer Support


6 Ways a Peer Support Team Has an Officer’s Back

Peer Support and Leadership Training

 6 Essential Criteria for a Peer Support Teammate

  1. Passionate
  2. Trustworthy
  3. Has family support
  4. Willing to learn
  5. Respected
  6. Overcomes challenges

Self-Care for the Peer Support Teammate

Regular check-ins with fellow teammate, leadership, a licensed counselor, and yourself are important to maintain your own health. This also includes knowing when to step-back and spend some time caring for yourself so that you can continue to care for others in the future. Some other ways to practice self-care include:

  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Adequate sleep
  • Nutritious diet
  • Spending time with family and friends

 Peer Support Resources