Self-Help/Mutual Aid and Peer Support Interest Group

Mission Statement

The Self-Help/Mutual Aid and Peer Support Interest Group is an international forum for encouraging, promoting, and assisting research and practice of self-help/mutual aid groups and peer support. We provide a forum for critical analysis, evidence or experience-based discussion, and exploration of emerging trends in theory, research, and practice of self-help/mutual aid and peer support.

We aim in our work to emphasize the following:

  • Especially highlight the value, usefulness, and limitations of individuals and group lived experience of their focal problem, recovery or personal improvement.
  • Highlight the value, usefulness, and limitations of voluntary non-commodified or non-monetized self-help/mutual aid and peer support.
  • Emphasize the value, usefulness and limitations of participatory and service-user and consumer-based research.
  • Highlight value of the exchange of interdisciplinary practice, knowledge and ideas that can lead to new interest in self-help
  • Place to explore emerging trends in theory and practice.
  • Place to explore the ways various communities have used self-help and mutual aid practices to improve individual and community wellness.

Information about joining and contributing

We invite you to join in the group's activities, use the self help resources linked here, and to contact chair Deidra Somerville at with any questions.

The interest group holds quarterly phone meetings to meet each other, exchange ideas, and at which anyone may request up to 30 min for peer input about a self-help / mutual assistance project they are working on (or wanting to).  The other half of the meeting is spent discussing interest group projects, ongoing and new.  Please plan to attend!  Its great to learn from, and if you are interested in signing up to get help on your project, please contact us.

We also encourage you to join the interest group listserv.  If you would like to join the Self-Help and Mutual Support Interest Group listserv just email and request to be added to the group

Finally, the interest group has a column in The Community Psychologist.  We encourage you to submit pieces related to self-help and mutual support.  It's a great outlet for editorials and a variety of practice, research, education, and other projects.  Please email us to propose or submit an article. Submissions are needed!

Link to TCP:


Self-Help links and online resources
SCRA Self Help Interest Group resolution on self-help and support groups
Psych Central - online discussion forums

International Journal of Self-Help and Self-Care (archived issues available for free download)

Canadian Mental Health Association - resources on self-help and peer support

Self-Help Videos
Louis Brown- Making it Sane
Consumer Survivor Initiatives (CSI; Geoff Nelson and colleagues)- From Mad House to Our House (part 1) (part 2)

Dual Diagnosis Self-help online resources
Thanks for Sarah E. Ullman, University of Illinois at Chicago, for these resources and articles!
Dual Diagnosis Self-help research articles