Peer support is people with shared experiences learning together to support each other on their recovery journeys.
The Trust understands that for many service users connecting with someone else who has been through similar experiences can be a great support on their recovery journeys. For this reason, the Trust is introducing peer support into services to provide service users with the opportunity to meet and learn from others people who have experience of mental health challenges.
In TEWV, peer support workers will be paid members of staff who have experience of mental ill health or distress and have been or currently are service users themselves. They will use both their own experiences and the skills they have learned in their training to support service users on their recovery journey.
Peer support workers in TEWV will:
- Facilitate peer support groups where service users can meet and learn from other people with similar or shared experiences.
- Provide one to one support to people who would find this helpful in their recovery journeys.
- Support people in moving towards their own goals and ambitions.
- Support people in accessing resources in their community.
Trauma informed peer support
We understand that many people accessing services have experienced trauma or adversity in their lifetime. Our peer support workers will be trained to deliver peer support that takes into account the affect that trauma and adversity can have on individuals. This includes creating a safe space for people to explore how they have made sense of their life experiences if they choose to do so.
Values based peer support
Our peer support values underpin all the work our peer support workers will do. Our values are:-
- Respect: We believe people’s unique and individual experience must be respected
- Authenticity: We believe being authentic is about being true to ourselves
- Relationship: We believe that the peer relationship is at the centre of peer support
- Validation: We believe that validating experience is a crucial part of peer relationships
- Empowerment: We believe empowerment means being in the driving seat
- Mutuality: We believe mutuality means working together as equal partners. While we aim to ‘meet each other where we are at’, we believe mutuality is core to peer working
How can I access peer support?
TEWV will be introducing peer support into a small trial site in Stockton in 2018. The teams that will first start implementing peer support will include:
Stockton Early Intervention Psychosis (EIP)
Teesside Community Rehabilitation
Teesside Perinatal Team
From autumn 2018, service users of these teams will be able to access peer support as part of their recovery journey. You can ask your care coordinator for more information.
Peer support opportunities in the Trust
Peer support workers are paid members of staff who work with service users on their recovery journeys.
Peer support worker roles would be of interest to those who would like to support other people who are currently experiencing mental health challenges by drawing on their own experiences, skill and expertise.
Personal attributes that make good peer support workers are having compassion and empathy, having good communication skills (verbal, writing and listening), being curious about other people and being open to diverse and different people.
In order to apply for a peer support worker role you must have:
- Lived experience of mental health challenges.
- Experience of accessing secondary mental health care services in the NHS or through a private sector provider.
- Completed a peer support training course (either a TEWV course or another course with similar outcomes); or
- Have relevant experience of providing intentional peer support to others and be prepared to complete an approved training course as part of your employment conditions.
Information on the TEWV Peer Support Training Course is available below.
All peer support worker roles for the Trust are advertised on the NHS Jobs website as they become available.
Peer support training
The Trust has designed a peer support training course for people who are interested in paid or unpaid peer support roles in clinical teams.
The training course includes topics such as:-
- An introduction to peer support
- Communication, language and facilitation skills
- Developing skills in one to one peer support
- Developing skills in group peer support.
To find out further information about peer support and future training courses please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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