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Peer Support for Bereaved Survivors

Systematic Review of Evidence and Identification of Best Practices

About Peer Support and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors:

Peer support gives those who have had a unique experience or who are facing a personal challenge the framework to connect with another with that shared experience or challenge, either individually or in a group setting. By the simple act of knowing they are not alone in their experience and realizing that others have overcome the challenges they are facing, peers find validation, normalization, and ultimately a sense of hopefulness.

The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) was founded in 1994 on the principles of best practices in peer based emotional support for bereaved survivors. Today, TAPS provides care to over 70,000 grieving military family members using these best practices. Renowned researcher Dr. Paul Bartone has documented the impact of this work in a landmark new systematic review of evidence and best practices in peer based support. This report highlights eight ground rules for successful programs that can be benchmarked by all those working in peer-based programs.

PRESS RELEASE:

January 30, 2017: New research reveals peer-­based connection supports healing, growth after loss.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr. Paul T. Bartone, COL (Retired), U.S. Army, is Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University in Washington, DC. He joined the Army in 1985 after completing a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Chicago. A Fulbright Scholar, Bartone has published extensively on topics related to health, adaptation, hardiness and resilience under high stress conditions. He studied and taught leadership at the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, National Defense University in Washington, DC and at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, where he also served as Director of the West Point Leader Development Research Center. While on active duty Colonel Bartone served as the Research Psychology Consultant to the Army Surgeon General, and also as Assistant Medical Service Corps Chief for Medical Allied Sciences. He is a past President and Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Society for Military Psychology.

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