Peer Support - San Francisco VA Health Care System
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San Francisco VA Health Care System


Peer Support



What is Peer Support?

Peer support is a system of giving and receiving help founded on key principles of respect, shared responsibility, and mutual agreement of what is helpful; it is a process dedicated to promoting empowerment and self-determination in the service of recovery. 

Peer Specialists are part of the Mental Health Service. If you would like to enroll in Mental Health, please call the Access Center at (415) 221-4810, ext. 2-4824.

What is a Peer Support Specialist in a mental health setting?

A person with a mental health and /or co-occurring disorder, who has been trained to help others with these disorders identify and achieve specific life and recovery goals. A peer support specialist is actively engaged in his/her own recovery, and who volunteers or is hired to provide peer support services to others engaged in mental health treatment.

Peer Specialists are part of the Mental Health Service. If you would like to enroll in Mental Health, please call the Access Center at (415) 221-4810, ext. 2-4824.

Contact your Mental Health Treatment Coordinator or primary mental health clinic to discuss whether peer support services are available there and might be helpful for you.

Peer Specialists currently work at the following sites:

Eureka VA Clinic

Santa Rosa VA Clinic

San Francisco VA Downtown Clinic in the Mental Health Intensive Case Management program

San Bruno VA Clinic

San Francisco VA Medical Center

Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center

General Psychiatric Outpatient Services

PTSD Clinical Team

Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit

What is the purpose of a Peer Support Program?

  • To provide opportunities for Veterans to take control of their own recovery
  • To teach and support the learning of skills needed to facilitate one's recovery
  • To make Veterans aware of available services and choices
  • To help Veterans develop a sense of wellness and self-worth
  • To bring a unique perspective to the treatment teams on which they work

What do trained Peer Support Specialists do? 

  • They serve as role models by sharing their personal recovery stories, showing that recovery from mental illness is possible.
  • They teach goal setting, problem solving, symptom management skills and a variety of recovery tools.
  • They empower by helping others identify their strengths, supports, resources and skills.
  • They advocate by working to eliminate the stigma of mental illness.
  • They act as community liaisons by identifying social supports in the community and encouraging the expansion of local community resources.

Contact Info


  • 4150 Clement Street
    San Francisco CA 94121

Contact Number(s)

  • 415-221-4810 Ext. 2-2073

Hours of Operation

  • Monday - Friday
    8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.