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.

Evaluation of Positively UK’s gay & bisexual men’s project

This evaluation was carried out at the end of year two of a three-year project that was set up to provide support to gay and bisexual men living with HIV. It was informed by quantitative and qualitative data, including an online survey completed by over 100 project participants. The project goal was to empower service users to successfully transition to effective self-management and independent living with HIV. The document is an example of an independently commissioned evaluation of a service and could act as a template for others to base their own evaluations.

Reach project evaluation

This evaluation aimed to explore the components and processes by which the peer support service delivered by Positively UK enables people living with HIV to improve and/or maintain their engagement with clinical services. Key areas for investigation included behaviour change and management influenced by client engagement with peer support services, interaction between peer support and other services, and the extent to which peer support services are focused on solving challenges and/or providing opportunities to clients.

Evaluation approaches for mental health prevention and early intervention programs

This handbook provides guidance about evaluating mental health prevention and early intervention programmes. Peer support is mentioned, amongst other programmes. Principles for evaluation are outlined and sections then focus on evaluation strategies for specific types of formats such as education interventions, social media campaigns, operating helplines, and counselling and support.

Creating peer support groups in mental health and related areas

This report from WHO (the World Health Organisation) pulls together expertise from around the world in order to support countries develop and strengthen individualized peer support services in mental health and related areas. It sets out the benefits of individualised peer support, misconceptions about peer support, competencies for peer supporters, mentoring/supervising peer support volunteers, integrating peer support into health services, and expanding your peer support offer.

The power of peer support

This report reflects on the value of peer support and shares case studies and practical insights from ten organisations who, through the Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund, have worked to grow and spread their activities to many more people across England. The focus was on moving peer support from pockets of good practice to being delivered at scale and in more impactful ways. The report then summarises the trends and lessons learned from all ten case studies about how to deliver peer support across a range of conditions and with very different groups of people.

Peer support for breastfeeding continuation: an overview of research

This article summarises the findings of key reviews relevant to breastfeeding peer support interventions that aim to enable breastfeeding continuation in the UK. The discussion highlights findings relevant to policy makers, practitioners and representatives of voluntary agencies seeking to interpret the current evidence base and to design or deliver models of support that are effective and acceptable to mothers. It includes a summation of discussion points including on the evidence for effectiveness, design factors and what mothers want.

Peer support for breastfeeding: guidance for Scotland

This guidance about peer support for breastfeeding mothers is intended to inform professionals in Scottish Health Boards and voluntary sector agencies with responsibility for local breastfeeding support about the most up-to-date policies and evidence related to breastfeeding peer support. The resource lists evidence from systematic reviews as well as randomised controlled trials (RCTs) on the effectiveness of peer support. The resource looks at asset-based approaches to health improvement as well as national policy documents before providing evaluation recommendations.

Mental health peer support in England: piecing together the jigsaw

This report follows a scoping study to map what peer support groups and projects exist across England. The study also aimed to explore the experience and needs of existing peer support groups and projects in order to understand the development needs to allow peer support projects to increase and flourish. The resource draws out the lessons learnt in sections on evaluation, funding and sustainability, partnering with other organisations, training and project reach. The resource ends with a full list of the peer support groups involved with the scoping study.


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