Peer support lies at the heart of Sosped Foundation. It appears in different forms within Sosped Foundation’s projects and activities, but the idea remains the same.

In Sosped Foundation peer support is regarded as mutual support and help among people with similar experiences. The distribution of experiential knowledge plays a key role. Trust, tolerance, equality and communality are also important values.

The peer groups in Sosped Foundation are based on voluntariness and are free of charge for all participants. The activities are for the public good and do not provide economic benefit to any party. Peer support prevents social exclusion.

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Peer support activity for gamblers and their families

The Pelirajat’on peer group supervisors are volunteer laypersons who have received special training. All supervisors have personal experience of either problem gambling or living with gamblers. We believe that everyone has reserves of strength and abilities to help their fellow men in times of hardship.

Peer support is constructed in organized groups. Voluntary supervisors provide help based on their own experience and the abilities they have gained through training. Whether a person wishes to participate or not is his or her own choice. Voluntary cooperation means that no one in the peer group is forced to do anything that he/she does not want to do or feels unable to do.

The supervisor of the group regards his or her own story as equivalent to others’ experiences. No experience is smaller or bigger than another. Listening and participating in the group is the source and base for the personal growth of the supervisor.

In an ethically good peer support activity between gamers and their next of kin the following principals are fulfilled:
1. Respect for human dignity and equality
2. A confidential and safe atmosphere
3. Appreciation of voluntariness
4. Genuine encounters and constructive interaction
5. Trust in emotions, peer support and knowledge based on experience

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Guided functional peer support

Three projects in Sosped Foundation are based on guided functional peer support: Young Adult’s Culture House and Epic Light. The GFP-model (guided functional peer support) is based on the conception of rehabilitation in which the focus is on the person’s assets and interests instead of on sickness. Instead of discussion, the GFP-model focuses on functionality, communality and a sense of peer support.

In guided functional peer support, volunteers are trained to direct functional groups while focusing on the strengths and interests of the participants. The model aims to eliminate loneliness and restart the rehabilitative effects of learning.

In Young Adult’s Culture Houses the focus is on functional groups. Peer tutors supervise groups that interest the mental health rehabilitators. With the help of creative group activity the aim is to find natural tools for improving one’s self-knowledge and the ability to function.

In Epic Light a special concept of peer support producers has been created. The peer support producer is assigned to direct production teams in which primarily young mentally disabled individuals who are interested in media and culture participate. However, the activities of the teams are open to people from different backgrounds: equality, mutual interests and a desire to do media and culture activities is of the essence.