Self Help is a user-led mental health charity based in the North of England. Self Help aim to provide people with the support, advice, tools and techniques needed to take control of their lives. Self Help believe in people having a choice in mental health care and value the experiences of those who have had a mental health difficulty at some point in their life. Self Help is part of The Big Life group, the largest social enterprise group in the country, driven by the need to help people change their lives.
Self Help are currently halfway through a five year Big Lottery project around one to one peer based work. Self Help Services deliver one to one peer support, peer designed wellbeing courses and workshops, and peer support groups. Self Help services strive for a strong element of coproduction within services, and have worked on developing their provision of training and support for their peer supports in partnership with the Institute of Mental Health in Nottingham.
The organisation has a Peer Support team, managing the various forms of peer support offered by the organisation. Two courses are offered by Self Help; the ‘Rough Guide to Being Well’ course offering a relaxed, non-clinical space to meet others with similar experiences, and ‘Boost’, made up of six two-hour sessions offering skills and tips for coping with problems and feelings. Self Help also offer drop-in group support sessions, one-to-one sessions with Peer Mentors which can be accessed over the phone or face-to-face, and Peer Connect, for people who are making initial enquiries and wish to discuss this with the Peer Support team.
Self Help have produced several leaflets which are available on their website or below, detailing the services they offer. This also sets out clearly what peer supporters can and can’t help people with, in order to ensure everyone will benefit from the service. Self Help recently won an award for Best Service User Involving Organisation at the Spirit of Manchester Awards for their coproduction and peer based work, as well as work around ‘supporting the peer supporters’.
The peer support services offered by Self Help are offered alongside a provision of Psychological Therapies, eTherapy, Structured Groups and Courses through their IAPT (Improved Access to Psychological Therapies) service, as well as crisis support through their Sanctuary service.
Self Help services, in partnership with the Institute of Mental Health, have created this video entitled ‘Peer Support: A Shared Journey‘.