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March 18, 2015 Webinar Announcement

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“How to Start and Facilitate a Support Group for Veterans”

View Recorded Webinar

 Download Presentation PDF

Originally broadcast March 18, 2015


This interactive webinar provided participants with tips and guidelines for planning and facilitating peer support groups in their community settings. They will also learn about characteristics to look for when choosing group facilitators and strategies for meeting the facilitators’ training needs.”

Learning Objectives

Following the webinar, participants will be able to:

  1. Discuss steps to take when developing a peer support group for Veterans in a rural community.
  2. Discuss characteristics to look for when choosing the peer support group facilitator(s).
  3. Discuss use of the facilitator’s personal recovery story to promote conversation in the group.
  4. Discuss verbal and nonverbal behaviors that promote conversation in the peer support group.

Your Presenter

Dr. Patricia Sweeney is a clinical psychologist and certified psychiatric rehabilitation practitioner. She is the Education Director for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) New England Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC), and she founder and Co-Director of the New England MIRECC Peer Education Center. She has served on many national VA peer support-related workgroups, including co-authoring the VA Peer Specialist Training Manual and the Peer Specialist Toolkit: Implementing Peer Support Services in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

Dr. Sweeney has presented about peer support-related topics at several national and regional conferences over the years, and she served as the co-chairperson for the 2013 and 2014 national VA Peer Specialist Conferences as well as the two upcoming national 2015 VA Peer Specialist Conferences.



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The "Community Clergy Training to Support Rural Veterans Mental Health" Promising Practice is funded by the VA Office of Rural Health.