”Peer support” means to give and be given knowledge and support together with others who are in a similar situation. In a peer support group you can for example share practical advice and tips, but also to share more personal experiences. Peer support can be something so simple as meeting someone who is driving a new wheelchair model and ask what they think of it. Peer support can also be groups who meet on a certain day every week.
The more you know who react in the same way in the same situation, the more certain you can be that it is not your fault when you feel angry or frustrated.
Adolf Ratzka, one of STIL’s founders
It helps to meet others with the same experiences. You can find solutions. If you don’t see a solution yourself, others do. Together we have an enormous base of knowledge and experiences.
Peer support is not therapy. Therapy is to brin up problems for a long period otime together with a trained professional. To the peer support group you can come however ofthen you want. Those leading the conversations during peer support are not experts.
Everyone is equally important in the peer support group. Because we all have different experiences to share, then everyone should be able to participate. You should be able to recognize yourself in someone else and view that person as a role model: “If they could…then maybe I can too!”
The one who believes they can change their situation gives themself power, while the one who only trusts “experts” give away their power.
Personal assistance is one of the most important tools in life. In STIL we learn how to use it. With personal assistance we can, step by step, get our everyday life back. Every little step we overcome, betters our quality of life and heightens the faith we have in our own strength.
Peer support is the most important part of STIL and the Independent Living-movement. In STIL we try to use that principle in our entire operation. That is why it is so important that we have employees and elected people who have norm-breaking able-bodiedness themselves.