Sharing: one service user sharing their experience of distress with another and discussing how it can be overcome utilising the other s experience.

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1 Peer2Peer Group Information Brief No.3 November 2010 The Peer2Peer Group A chance to sit with someone in distress and say to them the things I know they need to hear, the things I needed to hear and I know will help. It makes all those years of my pain valuable. Sharing: one service user sharing their experience of distress with another and discussing how it can be overcome utilising the other s experience. On peer support by members of the Peer2Peer Group Together recognises the importance of peer support in developing and delivering meaningful and effective services for people experiencing mental distress. The organisation s commitment to peer support is embedded the New Directions Strategy and Business Plan. To facilitate and support this vision, Together brought together the Peer2Peer Group that comprises of a core working group of primarily user led organisations that lead on peer support in their area as well as an extended network of statutory and academic friends that work with us to build on each other s expertise, develop innovative peer support models and share good practice, share and access resources and build valuable strong partnerships with key stakeholders on national and local levels. The Peer2Peer group s remit is peer support in mental health with a cross disability dimension as we recognise that there is great value in sharing best practice and learning. The Peer2Peer Group is dynamic and will be evolving in time as it aims to stay relevant to developments around peer support, the current environment and the needs and experiences of people experiencing mental distress. Elina Stamou, Peer Support Development Manager elina uk.org, , Old Street, London EC1V 9BE, uk.org 1

2 Information Arising From Recent Meetings Future of the Peer2Peer Group We re coming up to the first year anniversary of the Peer2Peer Group best time to look back at all our meetings and work so far and consider what we what to keep and change as we go forward. We can then reflect and discuss on how we want to take the group forward into the future We keep quarterly meetings/ regular communication interactive and creative nature of meetings peer support within the group supporting/positive atmosphere in the group creative thinking and problem solving info sharing both within and beyond the group building the case for peer support the structure of the group recovery based approach sharing ideas/practices sharing info on developments/resources joint working on innovative peer support models our enthusiasm and passion! our energy... We change/add action plans working groups to work in between meetings share expertise regarding training develop standards vary venue/location if possible annual schedule of meetings (booking ahead) link up with other people and organisations (nationally & locally) interested in our work additional expertise, linked to different/more peer support models/services such as young people wider networking of groups structure annual event/conference for the wider Peer2Peer network fundraising for development and support of the group web presence Updates & Reflections from Members Together The peer support report and supporting documents have been developed and are now published on our website. Thank you to all that contributed to it. Very successful launch of the report on the 30 th of September with 90 quests from a range of backgrounds and organisations and 4 high profile speakers including Rachel Perkins. In the process of developing proposals for peer support pilots in acute admissions and crisis services. Together s transformation services in London: one in the process of becoming a user led peer support and peer brokerage service and the other one towards becoming a service run through coproduction between staff and service users. 2

3 Together user run Steering Groups that work with staff and other people with lived experience to influence organisational policy and practice. Also peer support around the use of the Recovery Star. This is the time for peer support as it s an effective and efficient way of providing services to people experiencing mental distress and people with very complex needs. CAPITAL About to start a project delivering peer support in acute admissions. In the process of developing the service model. Roads to Recovery Inspired by Dan Fischer, a group of mothers of young people with the diagnosis of psychosis got together to support their children by instilling hope that recovery is possible as is the ability to lead fulfilling lives. The organisation has now developed into a user led group that supports young people (18 35 years old) in their recovery though peer support training, peer support in the community, peer arts/music/film groups, courses and projects. They also provide peer support on the wards of the local mental health hospital. NSUN NSUN s new website is now online. Also including new ways of communicating and linking up with members. NSUN s publication, Networks, is about to publish a special issue on peer support. Thank you to all the members of the P2P group interviewed for that issue. NSUN s working group where service user involvement workers provide peer support to each other is still running. NSUN wants to do more work on peer support and personalisation in the future. In Kent: activity around peer brokerage training. District Mental Health Forum (NSUN & P2P member) attending. Afyia Trust (NSUN and P2P member) just started running the recovery and employment peer support training. HUBB Developing a book on what recovery is... with a strong message of hope and inspiration. Asking people to express in most creative ways what recovery, wellness, wellbeing means to them. To find out more please visit the HUBB website: Rochdale Mind & BWUF BWUF is growing and developing very well, seeing people with lived experience moving along their journey to recovery, all the way through to gaining employment. Have had a successful Comic Relief bid and are now recruiting for new roles for more development work with/around BME and LBGT groups. WRAP training and work continues and are now building peer support around the Recovery Star. Reading Resource Centre, Together Just published a book titled, May Contain Nuts, with the artistic work of members. Intending to develop peer support around the Recovery Star. Peer support programme and accredited training is going strong. Challenges we face: CRB checks for people from varied backgrounds and also not having the funds to be able to pay more peer support workers. 3

4 Lived Experience Leading The Way Peer Support in Mental Health Thurstine Basset, Alison Faulkner, Julie Repper and Elina Stamou In the pages of this report, in the work you have started and in your ambitious plans to develop peerled services in the future, Together have made an enormously valuable contribution in the mental health arena. This is an important document that should be essential reading both for those of us with mental health problems who are rebuilding our lives and all who aspire to be our allies and support us in our journey. Rachel E. Perkins OBE, Freelance Consultant and Trainer, Recovery Employment Participation Together is a national charity working alongside people with mental health issues so that they can lead fulfilling, independent lives. Together is trusted for its expertise in service user involvement, empowerment and leadership that promote wellbeing. We work directly with people who support peers, run Peer Support programmes and work in partnership with user led organisations and other key stakeholders. We have developed models of peer support services in a range of environments such as peer support in acute admissions, within crisis services, in resource centres, in the community and peer brokerage. Together commissioned this report to strengthen our argument that peer support is a valid, valuable, and cost effective way of meeting the care needs of people with a range of mental health difficulties. The report and supporting documents, developed in partnership with the University of Nottingham and National Survivor User Network (NSUN), are available online at Support through shared experience Peer Support sees the person first, understands their distress and can offer true solutions that the Supporting Peer has used themselves. Peer Support Worker, Peer2Peer member We believe that one of the most powerful ways to help is through Peer Support. It s about people with lived experience supporting each other in their wellbeing journey through similar experiences and insight. Such a system of mutually giving and receiving help is founded on respect and shared responsibility. Peer Support has a long and honourable history in mental health. It can be on a formal or voluntary basis, as an initiative or project, and led by peers or professionals. It develops and delivers meaningful, effective services for people in many ways. For example, within an NHS Trust, a user led group, crisis centre, day centre or as a 24 hour service. Principles of Peer Support: Mutuality Solidarity Synergy Sharing with safety and trust Companionship Hopefulness Companionship Hopefulness Being yourself Independence Reduction of stigma Respect and inclusiveness Focus on strengths and potential Equality and empowerment 4

5 How peer support helps positive outcomes Receiving peer support leads to increased self esteem and self confidence, a sense of belonging, and motivation to learn new skills. For many, being part of a user group provides a safety net. Some have even used peer support to overcome problems that traditional services have not helped with. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with a psychologist had previously failed even to get me to walk down my road alone. However with the motivation and support from [my peers] other CAPITAL members, gradually my confidence grew so that I could make increasingly complicated journeys alone. Within two or three years, travelling had ceased to be a problem for me. Ockwell (2010) Providing peer support leads to workers becoming involved in meaningful work and acquiring a sense of purpose. They can become accepted as people instead of just a diagnosis. Studies have shown that peer support can lead to increased community integration for people with lived experience as well as increased quality of life in relation to daily living activities, social relations and a significantly greater involvement in work or participation in education. Mental health problems cost England over 77 billion p.a. through care, economic losses and premature death. Improved wellbeing through peer support leads to a reduced use of treatment services and medication with considerable savings. A peer support service in Australia, providing hospital avoidance and early discharge support, saved 300 bed days in the first three months alone. A USA outpatient programme reduced rehospitalisations by 50% compared with traditional care. An estimated 26.1 billion is lost in the UK as many people diagnosed with a mental health problem are unable to work. Peer support can facilitate involvement in education and progression to employment. Peer Support services are also proven to be extremely cost efficient. For example, the Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service successfully supports people at 180 per day per person while a stay at an acute hospital as an inpatient is 259 per day, providing a saving of 28,000 each year. Looking to the future Peer support can play a crucial role in supporting mental wellbeing, fulfilling core policy objectives and developing quality and cost efficient services that deliver positive outcomes and enable people to direct their own care. Nevertheless, for peer support to become more widespread, there are challenges to overcome. For people with lived experience and peer run groups, these include being seen as credible and having respected opinions, acquiring funding, avoiding red tape and maintaining independence. For peer support workers working within mental health services, there s the need to strengthen their position and credibility through increased awareness, better engagement and support by staff, improved training, and increased supervision. It s also important to explore the Return On Investment (ROI) compared to current services and promote the importance of service user knowledge/ expertise and service user led organisations. Peer Support works best when there s a spirit of true collaboration and partnership. Through cooperation between service user groups, voluntary organisations, other statutory service providers and commissioners, we aim to turn a shared vision into concrete, effective practice. 5

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