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303-764-1400 Applying for a Public Defender

Peer Support

Peer support is an emerging field that recognizes the valuable expertise that can be provided by peer-to-peer contact within an organization. Peer support is also defined as “offering support through listening, reflecting, validating, and exploring positive options for coping and further support.” What makes the peer support model unique is that employees are offered help based on the shared understanding and respect between people in similar situations, i.e., others working in public defense.

OSPD peer support program is an in-house team, comprised of attorneys, social workers, investigators, paralegals, and administrative staff. Peer supporters offer support and resources for anyone experiencing personal or work-related stress including anxiety, grief, depression, and workplace-critical incidents.

 

When individuals require additional assistance outside the scope of the peer support team, they are provided with other available resources such as C-SEAP (Colorado State Employee Assistance Program), COLAP (Colorado Lawyer Assistance Program) and other supports, depending on an individual’s need. Peer supporters have received specialized training from C-SEAP on psychological first aid, empathic listening, suicide intervention, and self-care. Ongoing training is provided quarterly in addition to monthly peer support meetings.

Help Reduce Burnout and Turnover

Peer supporters are contacted via text, email, or phone and are available on an on-call basis. Most important, although peer supporters are not counselors or therapists, they maintain confidentiality in the information they receive.