Peer Support Workers
The role of a Peer Support Worker
A Peer Support Worker is an integral and highly valued member of a multi-disciplinary team who draws on their own lived experience to offer emotional and practical assistance to individuals and inspire hope.
Peer Support Workers are able to facilitate and support information sharing to promote choice, self-determination and opportunities for the fulfilment of socially valued roles and connection to local communities and who can give support and encouragement to people experiencing mental health difficulties.
Mental Health Peer Support Workers (MH PSWs) give support, companionship and encouragement to people experiencing mental health difficulties. A quality that makes them stand out from other staff is that MH PSWs draw directly on their own lived experiences of mental health difficulties or caring for someone else who is experiencing such difficulties. They do not replace other roles in mental health services; rather, their skill in using their own experience to work collaboratively with someone facing similar mental health difficulties, is a unique one.
MH PSWs can offer emotional and practical support to people going through similar kinds of experiences. They can use their own lived experience to connect with people and help them, by:
- Giving them a sense of hope and wellbeing
- Supporting them to gain a sense of controlover their lives
- Helping them engage with, and build connections and a sense of belonging to, their local communities
- Helping them gain satisfaction in different parts of their lives.
The relationship between the MH PSW and the person they help is key. It is based on people learning together in a relationship that is mutual, trusting, safe, non-judgemental and respectful.
"From my perspective as a PSW, I am able to take away positives from my role in supporting others - it demonstrates that recovery is achievable and can be done at each individuals pace. I see the positive impact PS can have on others and in turn it reinforces my own well-being, knowing I am using my lived experience to build relationships and support others".
Andy Leaston - PSW Louth CMHT.
"The peer support walks offer time to discuss issues and manage your problems. It gives you opportunity to talk about any issues that may be worrying or pressing you"
Louth CMHT PSW service user.
Within the Recovery College team we value the skills, knowledge and expertise of those who have their own personal lived experience of mental health and recovery alongside those whose expertise comes from a healthcare and clinical background. Lived experience and peer learning is fundamental to the college, it benefits our students to be able to learn with someone who has experienced mental health challenges themselves, this can provide hope, enable students to relate, and empower them to take steps towards learning about their own health and wellbeing and making positive life changes.
Amy Day, Recovery College Manager
Being a Peer Support worker means I get to see first-hand the positive impacts of sharing lived experience. By opening up and discussing our own journey’s, we are instilling hope in others that they can meet their recovery goals regardless of the challenges they face. Being a Peer Support worker and discussing our mental health is so much more than an illness story – giving others the support, encouragement and empowerment to not only discuss their mental health challenges but to know that recovery is possible is such an important part of my role. Being able to be a part of someone else’s journey and watch as they develop their skills, hope and self-esteem is one of the most rewarding parts of the job.
Darcey Woods, Senior Peer Support Worker
The Lincolnshire Recovery College offers free educational courses on mental health and wellbeing, to anyone aged 16+.
Peer Support videos
Find out more about the role of a Peer Support worker from our current staff, there are videos covering different aspects of the role here:
Our Peer Support Workers are based at locations across the county, allowing the service to cover a wide area. The map below shows their current locations.
It's all about people
A place for our Lincolnshire health and wellbeing workforce to reflect, learn and share how together we support people to live their best life.
Get in touch
If you require any further information regarding the information on this page please feel free to contact Sara Brewin, Service Manager for AHP’s, Recovery and Inclusion (IPS Employment Team, Trust Volunteers, Recovery College).