Peer work does something unique and valuable - it harnesses the lived experience of mental ill-health and recovery to support others and foster hope.

Here you'll find information about how that happens.

Informal peer support has always been provided by friends, family and through support groups. In recent years however, the sharing of lived experience has been increasingly recognised as an integral, complementary part of the recovery journey in mental health.

While there is no one, universally accepted, definition of peer support, Shery Mead offers the following:

"Peer support is a system of giving and receiving help founded on key principles of respect, shared responsibility, and mutual agreement of what is helpful. Peer support is not based on psychiatric models and diagnostic criteria. It is about understanding another’s situation empathically through the shared experience of emotional and psychological pain. When people find affiliation with others they feel are 'like' them, they feel a connection. This connection, or affiliation, is a deep, holistic understanding based on mutual experience where people are able to 'be' with each other without the constraints of traditional (expert/patient) relationships." (Mead, 2001)

Mind supports peer work through a number of different initiatives outlined here.

View peer work opportunities at Mind.

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The Centre of Excellence in Peer Support

The Centre of Excellence in Peer Support

The Centre of Excellence in Peer Support (CEPS) provides a centralised specialist clearing house and online resource centre for mental health peer support. It has been set up in response to the growing interest in, and recognition of, peer support work.  The CEPS website provides access to a wide range of research and resources for consumers, families and other carers, mental health service staff and provider organisations. The CEPS project officer is also available to provide individualised support.

Visit the Centre of Excellence in Peer Support website.

Charter of Peer Support

Charter of Peer Support

The Charter of Peer Support was developed to ensure that peer support services are available to consumers and carers when and where it was needed. Written by people with a lived experience of mental distress and recovery, the Charter outlines the growing evidence base for peer work, and calls for continued recognition and development of peer support services in mental health. It highlights the unique nature of peer support in providing an unmatched source of expertise, hope and inspiration, empowering people to move forward in their own recovery journeys.  

Charter of Peer Support

Training modules

In line with the Centre of Excellence in Peer Support's aim to promote knowledge sharing, three training modules were developed to aid organisations or individuals in establishing and operating peer support services or groups.

 

 

 

 

 

Mind's peer work training

Mind's peer work training

For people who have used mental health services and carers of people living with mental illness who would like to learn about becoming a peer worker.

Mind has developed a five-day, award-winning peer work training course that builds confidence in peer workers around the basic skills, knowledge, attitudes and values appropriate for work in the mental health field.  

We also have a one-day workshop about becoming a mental health peer worker. 

Peer work in the paid mental health workforce involves:

  • Learning to keep yourself well with the demands of employment
  • Utilising the knowledge, expertise and learning you have gained through living with mental health challenges and seeking wellness as a consumer or carer
  • Using your knowledge about utilising the mental health system as a consumer or carer
  • Working within specific organisational policies, procedures and processes

The one day workshop will provide you with:

  • information about pathways to training
  • an understanding of the values, principles and practices that are at the core of peer work
  • opportunities to engage with people currently employed at Mind in lived experience roles

Here’s what people say about the course:

“I got plenty of tips and advice in my job search”

Understanding the complex information related to being a peer support worker and fields for development and future growth”

“I am now better informed and excited for future prospects”

This course will run again in the second half of 2017. Please send an expression of interest in the course to learning@mindaustralia.org.au and we will email you a flyer when the dates of the next session are known.

 

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Peer work

Learn about peer work and how to train to become a peer worker.

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