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Youth MOVE New Hampshire (YMNH) defines their model of youth peer support as a service provided by a young person who is trained to strategically use their own lived experiences to inspire other young people to take action towards creating better outcomes for their future. YMNH’s model of youth peer support was created to specifically address the psychological and developmental needs of transition-aged youth and young adults (13-25). The needs of this age group are different from those of younger adolescents and older adults. Youth Peer Support Specialists (YPSS) are trained to inspire hope for other young people who are currently in similar circumstances by sharing their lived experiences in a way that highlights healthy lifestyle changes and resources that they found to better cope with their struggles and overcome the barriers that they were faced with, without ever straying into an attitude of “knowing better” or being in some way above the youth they support. YPSS help young people to develop and hone their own voices and advocacy skills to open channels of communication between family members, natural supports, and other providers who are involved in futures planning.
**It is important to note here that not every young person will desire and/or benefit from Youth MOVE New Hampshire’s model of youth peer support, which is why it is just one service option among an array of other services that are offered statewide.