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Boundary Ethics in Peer Support: A Case Study

Abstract Mental health peer support is a growing modality of care, in which people with lived experience of mental illness aid others with the same conditions. Despite the rising prominence of peer support, little literature has explored ethics in the provision of care between people with mental illness. Drawing on a case narrative from a larger empirical study on peer support in the United States, this paper will reflect on boundary ethics: that is, the physical, emotional, and social parameters that people engaged in peer support set in relationships with one another. The case will highlight the implications of situations in which people leading peer support programs experience a psychiatric relapse during provision of services. The paper will conclude with a discussion of the implications of boundary ethics in peer support for both bioethics and clinical mental health practice. Read the full case study here:

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