Peer Support Workers
Who is a Peer Support Worker?
A Peer Support Worker (PSW) is a person who has lived experience of mental health condition.
Their unique approach offers social, emotional and practical support to help service users through their recovery journey, understanding the anxieties and pressures they face every day. Peer Support Workers expressly share their lived experiences of recovery and their own recovery story to inspire hope, model recovery, inform and assist service users in finding their own path to recovery.
They help the service user cope by empathizing with their feelings, showing compassion, and letting them know they are not alone in their struggles. In this trusting relationship, which is based on empathy and empowerment, feelings of isolation and rejection can be replaced by hope, opportunities, and confidence in one's own abilities.
PSWs recognise that everyone's recovery is unique. It is day to day living and not a final destination.
Who are the Peer Support Workers as part of the Transformation Programme?
With the help of Mind organizations, we now have 21 PSWs who have experienced mental health challenges themselves or as carers.
Our PSWs are currently working within Mental Health & Wellness Teams and CRT across Waltham Forest, B&D, Redbridge and Havering. They also attend an on-the-job training program including Open Dialogue to ensure they have everything they need to succeed in their role.
What a Peer Support Worker is not?
Peer Support Workers are not clinically trained. They do not diagnose or treat service users, they do not provide lead care, and they do not provide therapy or advice. Support from peer support worker is solely based on lived experience and some practical skills achieved through training.
A Day in the life of a PSW
A few our PSWs have spoken about their experiences of becoming and being a Peer Support Worker. They have put their thoughts into a video which will be available in December 2022.