Peer based programs can be beneficial to those involved in providing them

The available evidence points to significant benefits for trained peers as a result of participating in peer based programs.1

Reported benefits for trained peers include:

  • Increased self esteem;
  • Increased self confidence and ability to vocalise thoughts and opinions;
  • Enhanced sense of self efficacy;
  • Increased knowledge and skills about health and drug-related issues;
  • Development of planning and presentation skills;
  • Development of leadership skills;
  • Development of skills in accessing and assessing information and resources; and
  • Development of valuable experience that may facilitate later job seeking efforts.2,3

By participating in peer-based programs as trained peers, young people can identify their own abilities and strengths. Ideally, this discovery takes place in an environment where they feel trusted and able to make mistakes without fear of reprimand, where they are able to have fun, and most importantly, an environment that is safe.


  1. McDonald, J, Ashenden, R, Grove, J, Bodein, H, Cormack, S, Allsop, S 2000. Youth for Youth: A Project to Develop Skills and Resources for Peer Education: Final Report, National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA), Adelaide.
  2. Backett-Milburn, K & Wilson, S 2000, ‘Understanding peer education: insights from a process evaluation’, Health Education Research, Theory & Practice, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 85-96.
  3. McDonald, J, Roche, A, Durbridge, M & Skinner, N 2003, Peer Education: From Evidence to Practice: An alcohol and other drugs primer, National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction, Adelaide.