Some individuals who are unwilling or feel uncomfortable to seek or maintain treatment have found Peer Support Services a useful entry to a variety of other resources. Peer Support Services are provided by individuals who share the experience of living with a psychiatric and/or substance use disorder. These services provide encouragement, assistance, and emotional support while sharing knowledge, teaching skills and connecting to community resources needed to achieve one’s recovery and life goals.
See specialty Peer Support Services listings below and be sure to also check out the Erie County Self-Help Directory for Adults listed under Mental Health Advocates of WNY.
Peer Services may be located in treatment agencies, in a peer organization, in a hospital, or in a recovery program. Peers are also on the staff of a number of treatment programs, including PROS programs and ACT teams. Peers may be credentialed, have training in providing specific services such as benefits, employment or housing, or may be part of a support group of similar individuals.
Alcohol and drug use disorders (addiction) support groups are found in the Substance Use Treatment section under Support Groups.
Bereavement support groups are found in the Support and Resources section under Family Support Groups.
Peer Support Resources
Offers individual and family support groups at www.eriemha.org/support-groups.php. Also offers activities such as outings, writing and art. Groups include:
Depression, Anxiety, OCD, and Bipolar Support Group
Teen Peer Support Group
20-Something Support Group
Survivors of Sexual Assault Support Group
A drug and alcohol-free environment designed for individuals with chemical dependency, alcoholism, and/or mental health conditions who are looking for social outlets and housing that support efforts to remain clean and sober. Evening, weekend, and holiday coffee house offering beverages and snack foods for sale and social/recreational activities; and self-help groups including AA, NA, SOS, and DTR. Rooms for rent on a temporary basis when available. Social club: pool, video games, snack machines, coffee, tea, pop. Not a counseling or treatment center.
Buffalo Psychiatric Center (BPC)
400 Forest Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14213
Provides advocacy and independent living skills to patients in preparing for a successful discharge from the facility. You must be a patient at BPC to access these services.
Center for Self-Discovery
Buffalo Psychiatric Center (BPC)
Butler Rehabilitation Center
400 Forest Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14213
A peer-run service where people can obtain information, support, and skills for their individual recovery. Referral must be completed by a psychiatrist, medical physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant in order for an individual to attend the program.
Self-help, 12 step program for OCD. There are national call in meeting scheduled consistently. The web site provides information under Meetings heading.
Support group meetings held in different locations to help people solve their common problems: compulsive overeating, anorexia, bulimia. See websites for information and for meetings
The PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Support Program brings United States Armed Forces veterans, service members and their families together through veteran-to-veteran collaborative services, social activities, and community service, easing the transition from military to civilian life.
Contact: 24 hour answering machine; or RecoveryInternational96@yahoo.com
Support groups in the Buffalo and Niagara Falls area for persons recovering from mental illness or suffering from anxiety and nervous disorders, depression, panic attacks, and fears. Use their web site to find community meetings, phone and online chat meetings, forums.
For military families, financial help and referrals to a wide variety of military specific supports and services.
A family of agencies that provides independent living skills, advocacy, benefits advisement, vocational services, peer counseling information, referrals and a range of peer support groups. Available to anyone with a mental illness. Offers support in non-crisis situations. Calls are answered by peer mental health services recipients. For a full list of support groups go to http://wnyil.org/Events/monthly-support-groups
Mental Health Peer Connection
Provides stress reduction, depression, and job networking group. The Mental Health Peer Connection is a peer-driven advocacy organization dedicated to facilitating self-directed growth, wellness and choice through genuine peer mentoring.
Peer 2 Peer Wellness Wisdom Virtual Support Group
Offers support and assists in the development of coping skills so that we can learn to become more tolerant and resilient.
Peer Connection Virtual Support Group
For people seeking help with a mental health issue.
Youth Peer Support Group
716-836-0822 x 540
Bipolar and Anxiety Support Group
716-836-0822 ext. 162
Identify and share experiences with peers who also suffer from Bipolar or Anxiety Disorder. The group discusses many coping mechanisms and issues related to having Bipolar Disorder as well as Anxiety. This is not a support group for family members or friends of people with Bipolar or Anxiety.
De-Clutter Support Group
716-836-0822 ext. 170.
Address issues related to cluttering. Topics include recovery from cluttering, learning to set achievable goals to beat the clutter and reduce acquiring.
A dedicated Peer is assigned to the City of Buffalo Mental Health Court in an effort to help individuals diagnosed with mental illness understand the choices available to them when going before the Court. Peer Advocates share their life experiences, offer Information and Referral, and provide Peer Counseling in an effort to serve individuals and help them avoid future legal disputes connected to their mental illness. Must be 18 years or older, with a case before the court.
Confidential non-crisis peer support and information line through Housing Options Made Easy and Erie County. Funded by the NYS Office of Mental Health. Also offers scheduled face-to-face peer support.
- Niagara Falls Respite
716-285-3403 x 2280
1570 Buffalo Ave, Niagara Falls, NY 14303
Emergency housing for those who meet admissions criteria. Provides an organized alternative to hospitalization by offering support, encouragement, and assistance to enhance individual’s participation on the community. Includes three meals a day, 24-hour staffing, medication monitoring, transportation to and from appointments, peer counseling, and linkages
- Hope House – The Peer Recovery Respite Center
344 Walnut St, Lockport, NY 14094
Peer operated mental health services for eastern Niagara County. Four respite beds for hospital diversion, temporary housing, symptom management, and as a rest or relief from stressors to current living situations. Also offers a Recovery Warmline, 716-433-6543, and provides face-to-face meetings and/or phone support to prevent onset of emotional crisis
Peers work with adults in the community on goal setting, basic living skills, and assist in navigating mental health services.