Paid for and other formal peer support

Any peer support that requires a fee in order to get access. It includes peer support that is provided by professionally trained and paid facilitators who do not necessarily have personal experience of the theme being looked at. This can also include online groups that require a paid membership and/or have discussions that are regulated by trained moderators.

For the purposes of the Hub we also include peer brokerage schemes in this definition, whereby an individual is supported one to one by a peer in order to do a specific task such as apply for a disability benefit, or create a financial budget. In this instance the peer in question may be a volunteer but is likely to have had specific training in being able to provide such practical support to someone else.

Healthbridge: the national evaluation of peer support networks and dementia advisers in implementation of the national dementia strategy for England

This extensive evaluation used a mixed methods approach to collect data from 40 demonstrator peer support sites that work with adults with dementia in England. The evaluation aimed to identify ways in which Peer Support Networks and Dementia Advisers contribute to the well-being and resilience of people with dementia and carers, specifically in relation to accessibility of services, involvement and information, support for making choices and independence.

Peer support workers: a practical guide to implementation

This guide contains tips for developing peer support worker roles, with examples of developing and growing in various contexts. The resource uses examples from across the country to provide a step by step structure on hiring and developing peer workers. It also provides answers to a set of myths about peer workers such as peers are too fragile to work in this way and that peers will take up so much time that traditional staff roles will be made much harder. It provides a template job description, a template code of conduct and a template advert for recruitment.

Peer support workers: theory and practice.

This report sets out what peer support is, examples of peer support roles and examples of growing peer support in the UK. It also discusses the impact of peer workers and how to maintain integrity. It briefly considers the risk of professionalising the peer role and states that the most effective way of sustaining the essence of peer support is to identify its core values and ensure that these are upheld through recruitment, training and supervision.

Experts by experience: guidelines to support the development of peer worker roles in the mental health sector

These guidelines describe how to establish and grow peer support roles in mental health, while remaining true to the founding values of peer working. They include recruitment and training as well as supporting peer workers and helping to expand. The focus is on peer support that is embedded into healthcare settings and as such many of the recommendations are written with commissioners, managers and clinical staff in mind.

A helping hand: Consultations with service users about peer support

Groups of service users and peer supporters shared views about benefits and challenges of peer support. Benefits include: shared identity; development and sharing of skills; increased confidence; improved mental health and wellbeing; and the potential for challenging stigma and discrimination. Challenges were often associated with employing service users as peer support workers, including role conflict, setting boundaries and ensuring adequate training and support. These challenges with 'professionalising' peer support may influence the growth and sustainability of services.

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