Authors: Paul Nestor and Christy Akins, SA
Event: 2006 TheMHS Conference
Subject: CONSUMER ROLES, ADVOCACY,EDUCATION / TRAINING,EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE, AND OUTCOME RESEARCH, Peer Support Project, employing consumers in the mental health workforce, consumer workforce, peer support work
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The Peer Support Project is an innovative education and employment program for peer support workers to facilitate their employment as peer specialists within the State’s mental health facilities. Project implementation has included a literature review on peer support, which has identified various challenges faced by peer support programs, as well as benefits that can flow from employing peer workers. The Peer Support Project has used participatory action research methods in the development of all phases of the project including: planning the project, establishing stakeholder groups, establishing partnerships between participating agencies, piloting the model of peer support and developing a strategic vision for roll out of the project across the State. Preliminary findings from our pilot project and anecdotal accounts of the benefits and challenges of peer support work are reported. We consider that effective peer programs are essential for improved service delivery in our mental health services.