Global Peer Support Celebration Day

Global Peer Support Celebration Day 2017

Global Peer Support Celebration Day

TRUFANT, Michigan.  October 19, 2017 will be the third year in which the third Thursday in October will be celebrated as Global Peer Supporter Celebration/Appreciation.  “It is a time when we reflect on and celebrate the important roles played by people with lived experience of mental health and addiction challenges in helping others on their journeys of recovery and inclusion into communities of their choice,” according to Bill Beverley-Blanco, Lead Coordinator and iNAPS Board member.

iNAPS stands for the International Association of Peer Supporters, and it is the premier organization for members of the emerging profession of peer support.

Considered an emerging best practice, the use of peers to help others going through what they have been through is growing exponentially throughout the US and the world, and it has been shown to be cost effective in the treatment of these disorders, reducing the use of inpatient facilities and increasing patients’ ability to access less expensive and restrictive community-based services.

Research has shown that those with lived experience can inspire hope and support to those still struggling with the effects of these, often debilitating, disorders, serving as role models and sharing the wisdom and experiential knowledge which they have gained through their own recovery journeys.

There are more than 10,000 peer supporters in the U.S. and more in Canada, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom and other countries. We work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, primary care agencies, governments, and correctional facilities. Peer supporters often facilitate support groups and meet with individuals one-on-one. They provide community education about mental health and addiction disorders to combat the stigma that often prevents people from seeking help for these conditions, and they are increasingly showing up in physical health facilities to help those with behavioral conditions make better use of health care providers and become more activated to monitor and deal with their own physical health challenges.

The purpose of the holiday is to increase public awareness of who peer supporters are, what they do, and how they are impacting the lives of countless people who obtain health and human services in the wide range of places where they are delivered.

Peer supporters and others in the behavioral health field are encouraged to participate by asking state and local governments to pass formal resolutions recognizing the roles and value of peer supporters, create celebration events such as gatherings in public areas, schedule presentations for local civic groups and schools, create exhibits and host information booths in shopping malls and public buildings and write articles for newspapers and magazines about peer support.

This year it falls on 19 October 2017. A special “Kick-Off” event will be held at the Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.  The morning of Wednesday, October 18 we will celebrate the day, with the peers from around the world in attendance in Phoenix before we send them back home to celebrate in their hometowns. As part of this kick-off we will have speakers and events that represent the history of our movement by Sally Zinman, Gayle Bluebird, and Pat Deegan, as well as a graduation for newly certified peer specialists, and a ceremony to commemorate “passing the torch” and welcoming young adults working in peer support as critically important members of our community—members on whose shoulders the future will rest.

During the conference, we also hope to have an overnight telecommunications event to connect with peer supporters around the world who are celebrating with us!

Join us in this worldwide celebration of Peer Support! Encourage everyone you know to join us!!

Bill Beverley-Blanco coordinatorContact:  Bill Beverley-Blanco, M.Ed., CPS at

Learn more at the iNAPS website:

On Facebook and on Google+ @GPSCD

Join us in this worldwide celebration of Peer Support!

Encourage everyone you know to join us!!

Global Peer Support Celebration Day 2016


This year’s celebration was on Thursday, October 20, 2016.

Some examples of how it was celebrated….

tucson gpscd

Proclamation presented at the Tucson, AZ Global Peer Support Celebration





For more on how the 2016 Global Peer Support Day was celebrated worldwide, visit the Facebook page: 


The first Annual Global Peer Supporter Celebration Day,
which was Thursday, October 15, 2015

All indications are that the day was celebrated by peers in the U.S. and abroad in a variety of ways. Below are just a few of the reports we’ve been getting. Be sure to check the official Facebook page for more photos and stories!

Reports from the Field! 

Gladys Christian receives  recognition for her community services from the City of Winston-Salem, NC.


Gina Calhoun reporting from Fairfax County, Virginia. Day One  (Global Peer Support Day) offered a luncheon and a Total Health Training.  Day Two was a community health conference where the Fairfax County Team and I are offering my story as a mini-play and 2 peer workers are being honored. We are celebrating big time in Virginia!!

Fairfax Falls Church WRAP #3 on 10-15-2015

Reporting from Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care in New Jersey, Marie Verna and Cherie Castellano

Rutgers UBHC Global Peer Celebration Day-General Graham

Rutgers UBHC Global Peer Celebration Day-Map

Please pass on to Steve my heartfelt wishes for a healthy physical, mental and spiritual recovery.  Here at Rutgers UBHC, we are so grateful that the International Association of Peer Support (iNAPS) let us know about Global Peer Supporter Celebration Day.

Here are some photos of our event and as our producer, Ravi Maharajh, can get back to the office, we’ll send along an unbelievable movie-type thing that showed quotes from all of the colleagues of the over 100 Peer Specialists and Peer Supporters working throughout our system about how much they value the peers’ contributions.

The background music was all of the songs that peers say keep them going when the work gets hard:

  • “Start Me Up”—the Rolling Stones
  • “Gonna Fly (the theme from ‘Rocky’)—Bill Conti
  • “I Will Survive”—The Grateful Dead
  • “Say What You Need to Say”—John Mayer
  • “California Dreaming”—Mamas and the Papas
  • “Fly”—Maddie and Tae
  • “You Never Walk Alone”—Josh Groban
  • “Will the Wolf Survive?”—Los Lobos
  • “Fountain of Sorrow”—Jackson Brown
  • “Eye of the Tiger”—Survivor
  • “Unwritten”—Natasha Bedinfield
  • “You’ll Be Alright”—Musiq Soulchild
  • “I Won’t Let Go”—Rascal Flats
  • “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”—Rolling Stones
  • “Turn, Turn, Turn”—The Byrds

We’d love to hear what happened all around the world at 12 Noon Eastern Standard Time.  Send it along as you get it.

Keep the faith,

Marie Verna and Cherie Castellano

Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care

Andy Bernstein reporting from Camp Wellness in Tuscon, AZ

Here are two photo’s for Global Peer Support Celebration Day.  One is our Camp Wellness staff, and the other is the one staff person who couldn’t make it in today, so she sent us a picture of her in her Camp Wellness t-shirt!  If you could load both that would be awesome!

peer support camp wellness staff

peer support camp wellness paris single in UA shirt

Reporting from Philadelphia, PA

Happy Global Peer Supporter Celebration Day!🎆🎉🎇
Kudos to all who work so hard to promote, serve and live the life of Peer Support!!!

Clarice and the Team at the Institute for Recovery and Community Integration

Mental Health Association of SE Pennsylvania
1211 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Who else participated?

Here is a small sampling of those who are celebrating the day! If you celebrated, describe who you are and what you did in the comment section below and/or





Edinburgh Cyrenians


Global Peer Supporter Recognition Day (Organizers)

Teamwork hands and sun logo





Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care



Transformation Center




Add a comment below to let us know who you are and how you celebrated the day!!

10 thoughts on “Global Peer Support Celebration Day

  1. I am Carolyn Hall of Colorado. My boss and me are doing a presentation on this day addressing the Peer Specialist Movement in a Crisis Call Center. What Peer Specialist are doing in supporting Peers across the state and what that looks like.

  2. Peer Specialists are living examples of HOPE to those who are struggling with their recovery. Peers enrich and enhance the therapeutic services being offerd at our Facility

  3. Peer workers have come such a long way and its fair to say that they have made a big difference in many individuals lives I am proud to be involved in pushing to move it forward and to make it a truly valued and recognised within our health services .stay strong everyone and keep up your truly amazing work Recovery is possible .

  4. I am Helen Johnson of Nashville, TN. The agency Tennessee Mental Health Consumer’s Assocation that I’m employed with, attended the 2015 Alterative Conference in Memphis, TN and help other peer supporters across the U.S celebrate Global Peer Support Day.

  5. As a Peer Support Specialist it is tough – but I love my job. And…I promise to keep fighting for my consumers (and for myself).

  6. We are Recovery Innovations International Crisis Stabilization Unit Riverside. Today we celebrated with our CO workers and guest with pizza and soft drinks. It was a wonderful time spent to reflect on the hard work we do and the many lives that we touch.

    As a part of a Peer Support team here t the Abbie Abraham Health Care Center in Butler, PA. We were presented with a lite breakfast and nice cards and medallions along with home made goodies and thank-you.

  8. Like I said back in 2015…being a Peer Support Specialist is tough – but I love my job. I see the rewards…I see the outcomes…I see the fights worth fighting for.

    Today…I helped one of my consumers see that being homeless wasn’t the greatest choice to make. Helping him see this and enabling him to choose to return back to live with his mother was the greatest recognition I had on this Global Peer Supporter Day.

    We got this!…we will prevail!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s