Who are these materials for?
These materials are anyone who is interested in how to use their lived experience to enrich the life of other people who are struggling with their mental health.
- People who want to help others facing similar challenges, but who may not be sure about how to offer their support
- People who wish to improve their communication skills and find ways to create meaningful and trusting relationships
- Interested people from any field or speciality, especially youth and social work, community organising, advocacy etc
Do I get a certificate after reading these materials and start working as a peer supporter?
Sadly, we cannot give you a certificate after going through these materials. Nevertheless, doing it can be a first step towards getting trained as a peer supporter in a local organisation – one that is suited best to the type of support you wish to provide, as well as the topics and target groups you’d like to work with.
If you are already working in an organisation that offers peer support in some form, go and have a chat with someone about your options for training and working there.
You may benefit with having a list of topics you have introduced yourself with from the Peer Support+ materials (covered in the 9 chapters of e-learning together with the ebook/toolkit):
- Basics about Peer Support (skills, different types, contexts, rights)
- Core values and practises of Peer Support (recovery, empowerment, being trauma-informed, personal boundaries, safety and trust)
- Practicalities in Peer Support (structure of the conversation, if or how to offer advice, crisis management, self and team care, implementation of Peer Support)
- Interpersonal communication skills (empathic listening, asking open-ended vs closed questions, using “I”-language, avoiding platitudes)
- Sharing your experience story on recovery from mental health challenges
This is not a full list of the topics covered in the two Peer Support+ project outputs – these are just the main five!
What is peer support in mental health?
Peer support is a way of relating to someone through shared humanity and core commonalities with the goal to offer and/or receive support. We belong to many peer groups (classmates, work colleagues, friends etc.) and in its widest form peer support can be used in most settings, because we are surrounded by people we could consider our peers.
Peer support in the mental health field is offered by an individual who has a lived experience of trauma, psychiatric diagnosis and/or emotional distress, after doing some work with their experience and learning the core principles of peer support. The commonalities in mental health peer support can vary – you may share a diagnosis of a particular mental health problem or a difficult experience such as losing a loved one, divorce, work or relationship related struggles, etc.