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Intentional Peer Support (IPS): 

Intentional Peer Support (IPS) is a groundbreaking approach that forms the core foundation of FolkTime. Developed by Shery Mead and Chris Hansen, IPS is a transformative practice that emphasizes authentic human connections, reciprocity, and mutual learning among individuals with lived experience of mental health challenges. IPS goes beyond traditional support models by fostering meaningful relationships that promote personal growth, empowerment, and mutual healing.

Building the Foundation of FolkTime

The Importance of IPS to FolkTime: FolkTime embraces the principles and practices of IPS as a cornerstone of its work in building trauma-competent systems and organizations. IPS forms the foundation for establishing genuine peer relationships, fostering empowerment, and promoting recovery-oriented approaches.

Through IPS, FolkTime:

  1. Creates a Supportive Community: IPS allows individuals to come together in a safe and non-judgmental environment, fostering a sense of belonging, connection, and support. FolkTime utilizes IPS to build a community that values lived experiences and encourages peer-to-peer connections.

  2. Enhances Personal Growth and Recovery: By utilizing IPS principles, FolkTime supports individuals in exploring their experiences, uncovering strengths, and developing personal resilience. IPS helps individuals to take an active role in their recovery journeys and find their unique pathways to well-being.

  3. Promotes Trauma-Informed Care: IPS aligns with trauma-informed principles, recognizing the impact of trauma on individuals' lives. It creates spaces where individuals can feel heard, validated, and supported without retraumatization. IPS supports trauma-informed practices within FolkTime and in the broader community.

  4. Fosters Peer Support Specialist Development: IPS provides the framework for training Peer Support Specialists at FolkTime. It equips individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to offer intentional peer support, empowering them to make a positive impact in the lives of others.

  5. Advocates for Systemic Change: By incorporating IPS into its work, FolkTime advocates for a paradigm shift in mental health systems, challenging traditional hierarchical models and promoting the inclusion of peer support as an essential component of care. IPS helps drive the transformation towards more person-centered, equitable, and trauma-competent systems.

The Power of IPS

Transformative Relationships

By engaging in these tasks and principles of IPS, individuals and peer supporters can create transformative relationships, challenge limiting beliefs, and cultivate a sense of empowerment, hope, and possibility. IPS provides a framework for fostering personal growth, promoting mutual learning, and building communities that embrace the strengths and resilience of every individual.

With Intentional Peer Support as its guiding philosophy, FolkTime is committed to creating environments where individuals can find understanding, connection, and hope. Through IPS, FolkTime strives to empower individuals, challenge stigma, and contribute to the larger movement of peer support and recovery-oriented care.

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