Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Common Humanity as an Under-acknowledged Mechanism for Mental Health Peer Support

Kotera, Yasuhiro; Llewellyn-Beardsley, Joy; Charles, Ashleigh; Slade, Mike


Ashleigh Charles

Professor of Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion


Mental health peer support (PS) is a relational approach to recovery. Service users are helped through a relationship focused on connection with a PS worker who shares similar experiences. Despite the strong evidence base, the mechanisms of action for mental health PS are under-researched. Several theories have been proposed to explain the mechanisms, including social comparison theory (SCT). SCT highlights the benefits arising from emphasising differences between a service user and the PS worker. An unintended consequence is that connection between them may be reduced. We propose common humanity (CH) as an under-acknowledged mechanism of action. CH is an experience recognising that there are other people living with similar suffering, and helps us regulate emotions. A CH-informed connection-based PS relationship may help a service user in different ways from a SCT-informed comparison-based PS relationship. Future PS research can investigate emotional self-regulation to establish whether CH-related outcomes arise from PS.


Kotera, Y., Llewellyn-Beardsley, J., Charles, A., & Slade, M. (2022). Common Humanity as an Under-acknowledged Mechanism for Mental Health Peer Support. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 1, 2022
Online Publication Date Sep 19, 2022
Publication Date Sep 19, 2022
Deposit Date Sep 7, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 20, 2023
Journal International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Print ISSN 1557-1874
Electronic ISSN 1557-1882
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Psychiatry and Mental health
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations