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J Child Fam Stud. 2014 Jul 1;23(5):837-843.

Innovations in the Identification and Referral of Mothers at Risk for Depression: Development of a Peer-to-Peer Model.

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  • 1Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016.
  • 2New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY.


This paper describes a feasibility study of a peer-delivered prevention intervention to identify mothers at high risk for depression and facilitate engagement in mental health services for their emotional health. Sixteen family peer advocates and their supervisors partnered with academic researchers over a period of six months to develop a four-session intervention that focused on identifying symptoms of depression, providing education about depression and treatment, actively linking caregivers to treatment for their own emotional health, and assisting caregivers in becoming active participants in their mental health care. Collaborating with peers to develop the model enhanced its perceived relevance and utility, and resulted in an intervention that was complimentary to their roles and the mission of peer-delivered support services. Peer/professional partnerships may be beneficial for enhancing the feasibility and acceptability of research efforts; the impact of peers' participation in the current project and the need for future research to develop and study peer-delivered models is discussed.


family advocates; family support; peer-to-peer

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