Peer support in Switzerland–Results from the first national survey

Burr, C.; Rother, K.; Elhilali, L.; Winter, A.; Weidling, K.; Kozel, B.; Gurtner, Caroline (2019). Peer support in Switzerland–Results from the first national survey International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 29(2), pp. 212-223. 10.1111/inm.12665

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Peer work is now known in Switzerland for 10 years and has developed strongly. The aim of the study was to describe peer support specialists’ (PSSs’) work conditions and job satisfaction, as well as the challenges of integration into the workforce in Switzerland. A further aim was to identify possible development topics in the preparation of PSSs for working with peer support work (PSW) training and interventions within the working field. We launched a survey with a self‐developed questionnaire for people with lived experiences with mental illness and recovery who were working as PSSs or experts by experience in education, research, politics, and other areas in the German‐speaking region of Switzerland. The survey took place from 1 September 2017 to 15 November 2017. The results show that PSSs were working mostly in 1:1 contact with service users and in education and noticeably less in politics and research. Their work conditions and job satisfaction seemed good. Most PSSs had job descriptions matching their duties, were satisfied with their salaries, and indicated being satisfied or very satisfied with their work. Amongst other aspects, the greatest challenge reported was integration into the inter‐disciplinary working team. PSS training should better consider the working areas of experts by experience in the fields of politics and research to reinforce employment opportunities in these work areas. To increase the impacts of PSSs and to improve integration into the workspace, the preparation of professionals and institutions should be improved by means of information sessions, trainings, and guidelines.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


School of Health Professions


Burr, C.;
Rother, K.;
Elhilali, L.;
Winter, A.;
Weidling, K.;
Kozel, B. and
Gurtner, Caroline






Christoph Golz

Date Deposited:

23 Jan 2020 07:21

Last Modified:

15 Mar 2020 01:32

Publisher DOI:


Additional Information:

Date: 2019




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