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
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There is a figure that is thrown out there every so often and that is the 1 in 4 people will have or do have a mental illness in their lifetime a figure that is scary especially if you are the 1 out of the 4 how about changing it to 3 in 4 are recovering or 4 in 4 are installing hope. Just because a service user has no further use of the service does not mean that the service has no further use of the service user. Their unique outlook with shared experiences their built in understanding and empathy is there waiting to be utilised. Peer supporters are role models that show what can be accomplished regardless of a diagnosis or condition and also how they have created advantages of their diagnoses and conditions.
The prime advantage is the shared experiences of being within the care and support of the mental health services either in a hospital setting and or in the external support services within the community.

• A peer is a peer when he/she self-identifies as a peer and is willing to share his/her lived experiences with others.
• Peer support services should strive to recruit a diverse cadre of peers so that people with a range of back-grounds and experiences might find the possibility of connection.
• Peers/coaches may be volunteers or paid for their work.

Peer support services are described as being non-clinical and recovery-focused (White, 2006). “Non-clinical” refers to the fact that peers do not
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