The Peer Worker Research Project has now been completed.

It was set up to explore how Peer Worker roles are being introduced into mental health services nationally, in both NHS Mental Health Trusts and in the voluntary sector. It aimed to assess what was already known from the existing evidence about introducing Peer Worker roles to see to what extent it applies in a range of mental health services in England. The project also aimed to develop guidance and online resources about what supports Peer Workers to carry out their role effectively.

Full details are available on the Project website:
http://www.peerworker.sgul.ac.uk/

An interim report has been released.
http://www.peerworker.sgul.ac.uk/peer-worker-research-briefing-paper.pdf

The report states:
Research is increasingly documenting the importance of peer support, and the potential benefits of Peer Worker roles. This research project was a response to the need to identify what makes the Peer Worker role work well and what can challenge effective implementation.

Introducing Peer Workers has the potential to challenge and fundamentally change the culture of service delivery in an organisation. Peer Workers need to be trained and supported to exercise individual control over how they share their lived experience – to manage personally (rather than professionally) defined boundaries in their practice. Peer Workers feel most empowered in their work where there is a culture of valuing and using lived experience throughout the organisation.

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