MIRECC / CoE
22: Buddy Support Programs
Other Management Modalities » Population & Community-based Interventions
22: Buddy Support Programs
There is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against buddy support programs to prevent suicide, suicide attempts, or suicidal ideation.
Neither for nor against
Grades and Definitions
- Strong for
- or "We recommend offering this option …"
- Weak for
- or "We suggest offering this option …"
- No recommendation
- or "There is insufficient evidence …"
- Weak against
- or "We suggest not offering this option …"
- Strong against
- or "We recommend against offering this option …"
Categories and Definitions
|Evidence Reviewed*||Recommendation Category*||Definition*|
|Reviewed||New-added||New recommendation following review of the evidence|
|New-replaced||Recommendation from previous CPG that has been carried over to the updated CPG that has been changed following review of the evidence|
|Not changed||Recommendation from previous CPG that has been carried forward to the updated CPG where the evidence has been reviewed but the recommendation is not changed|
|Amended||Recommendation from the previous CPG that has been carried forward to the updated CPG where the evidence has been reviewed and a minor amendment has been made|
|Deleted||Recommendation from the previous CPG that has been removed based on review of the evidence|
|Not reviewed||Not changed||Recommendation from previous CPG that has been carried forward to the updated CPG, but for which the evidence has not been reviewed|
|Amended||Recommendation from the previous CPG that has been carried forward to the updated CPG where the evidence has not been reviewed and a minor amendment has been made|
|Deleted||Recommendation from the previous CPG that has been removed because it was deemed out of scope for the updated CPG|
|*Adapted from the NICE guideline manual (2012): The guidelines manual. London: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence;2012. and Martinez Garcia L, McFarlane E, Barnes S, Sanabria AJ, Alonso-Coello P, Alderson P. Updated recommendations: An assessment of NICE clinical guidelines. Implement Sci. 2014;9:72.|
There are limited data/publications specifically studying "Buddy Support Programs" that serve Veterans and aim to decrease suicidality. The publications that did address Buddy Support Programs found evidence that some Veterans were dissatisfied, or that there is not enough evidence to support the widespread implementation of such programs. There is, however, a body of research that indicates that peer support groups do have a positive impact on mental health engagement.
This section includes links to information about Buddy Support Programs.
- Battle Buddies After Service: The Significance of Peer Support
- Veteran Sisters Battle Buddy Program
- Volunteers of America Veteran Peer Support Programs: Battle Buddy Bridge
This section includes links to treatment and/or implementation manuals about Buddy Support Programs.
- U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons Veterans Battle Buddy Program (B3)
This section includes links to podcast highlighting Buddy Support Programs.Return to Resource Options
This section includes links to videos highlighting Buddy Support Programs.
- Called to Serve: The Battle Buddy Bridge Program
This section includes links to recommended articles about Buddy Support Programs.
- 2020). Rethinking Violence Prevention in Rural and Underserved Communities: How Veteran Peer Support Groups Help Participants Deal with Sequelae from Violent Traumatic Experiences. The Journal of rural health : official journal of the American Rural Health Association and the National Rural Health Care Association, 36(2), 266-273. https://doi.org/10.1111/jrh.12362 (
- 2018). Pilot data of a brief veteran peer intervention and its relationship to mental health treatment engagement. Psychological services, 15(4), 453-456. https://doi.org/10.1037/ser0000151 (
- 2010). Buddy-to-Buddy, a citizen soldier peer support program to counteract stigma, PTSD, depression, and suicide. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1208, 90-97. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.2010.05719.x (
- 2019). Assessment and Management of Patients at Risk for Suicide: Synopsis of the 2019 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Department of Defense Clinical Practice Guidelines. Annals of internal medicine, 171(5), 343-353. https://doi.org/10.7326/M19-0687 (
- 2022). Pathways to program entry: Factors promoting entry and participation in veteran peer-support programs. Evaluation and program planning, 92, 102078. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2022.102078 (