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Beyond the 11 th of February 2005 act… “peer supports”… How to turn “fragility” into an asset for recovery Volume 84, issue 10, Décembre 2008

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1 « Ceiism, un monde qui bouge ! » (Ceiism = collectif pour l’échange, l’information et l’innovation en matière de santé mentale). Usagère des services de « santé psychique », collaborateur bénévole au Centre collaborateur de l’OMS (Lille, France), professeur des écoles spécialisée en déficience intellectuelle et troubles psychologiques associés
  • Key words: peer-helper, recovery, resilience, empowerment, fragility, gift, adaptability, “expertise through experience”, listening skills, support
  • DOI : 10.1684/ipe.2008.0411
  • Page(s) : 913-21
  • Published in: 2008

Can “crazy people” contribute to society ? While the 11th of February 2005 act confirms the idea of a handicap as a disadvantage to be compensated for, we now should go further by recognising the added value those who suffer a handicap can provide through their intrinsic experience of the road to recovery. Numerous “peer support” and “peer-emulation” studies inspired by American experiments are currently being developed in France : they tend to indicate just how much former users of the health system can contribute as “peer supports”. Their contribution is in no way intended to replace the care dispensed by healthcare professionals, but its originality and specificity are worthy of note. If I had to sum up my experience as a “mental health services” user in a word, I would say MEETING…