Peer Support For Mental Health Services

3047 Words Sep 1st, 2014 13 Pages
PEER SUPPORT IN MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

The idea of peer support in mental health services has been around for some time especially in the United States where it first became apparent and recognised as needed since the 1960’s. When former service users decided to join together and bring about change in a service they saw as unresponsive and even abusive. They became a consumer movement in the mental health service in America which gained momentum and spawned in to the peer support program.
Whilst not on a crusade or demanding organisational change but by working with the mental health services to implement change. They wanted to guide the service in becoming more recovery focused. The proposal was simple how does the service you provide install hope and belief that recovery is possible? A question like that is not an easy one to answer especially back in the 1960’s with new discoveries in medication, huge steps taken in psychiatry and psychology. Even today it is not an easy question to answer as recovery is a personal journey not something that can be designed and packaged in a one size fits all model.
It was a question that was left unanswered by many behavioural health professionals even as late as 1989 who did not believe recovery was possible, it is a mind set that is eventually disappearing and has progressed significantly. Little did mental health care providers realise that they actually had examples of recovery and beacons of hope in their care or had even…

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