Australian Government: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare METeOR Home Page

Mutual support and self-help

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termGlossary Item
METeOR identifier:Help on this term721759
Registration status:Help on this termHealth, Standard 16/01/2020
Definition:Help on this term

Mutual support and self-help includes services that provide information and peer support to people with a lived experience of mental illness. People meet to discuss shared experiences, coping strategies and to provide information and referrals (Metropolitan Health and Aged Care Services Division 2003). Self-help groups are usually formed by peers who have come together for mutual support and to accomplish a specific purpose (Solomon 2004).

Context:Help on this term

Mental health non-government organisation establishments service type taxonomy.

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

Distinguishing features:

  • Group-based services
  • Comprising individuals with common experience and interest
  • Led by one or more volunteer/unpaid consumer peers
  • Provided on a face-to-face basis or through interactive online forums. Please note, while this service type can be conducted though interactive online forums, the online activity is not intended to be measured under the Mental health non-government organisation establishments NMDS.


  • Self-help
  • Warm lines


  • Services that, while delivered by peers, are better categorised in other service types, e.g. peer-led employment-oriented services; personalised support services provided by peer workers
  • Services where the peer-leader is employed by the NGO (these services will be reported under other service types, e.g. Personalised support or Group support activities)
  • Mutual support and self-help activities provided for and/or by carers and/or families of people with mental illness (these are reported under Family and carer support)
  • Online, population-based self-help programs (these are reported under Self-help—online)

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this term

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

Supersedes Mutual support and self-help Health, Superseded 16/01/2020

Metadata items which use this glossary item:Help on this term

Group support activities Health, Standard 16/01/2020

Mental health non-government organisation payments cluster Health, Standard 16/01/2020

My items Help on this term
Download Help on this term