S72: The Peer Educator

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By September 26, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Sam Stott, Vicki Katsifis

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Workforce,Lived Experience, Recovery,Change, Innovation, Reform

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: Recovery Colleges are expanding the mental health peer workforce through the introduction of the role of peer educator. Peer educators purposefully share their lived experience and through co-production, transform the way that mental health education programs are developed and delivered. Peer educators build on their lived experience in partnership with clinical educators to provide recovery-orientated learning and development for consumers, carers and clinicians.

This presentation will investigate the role of the peer educator, within both the mental health educational workforce and the peer workforce. How are peer educators different from clinical educators and peer support workers? This paper will draw on the findings of a recent peer workforce literature review, the evidence base for effective peer-led mental health services and the lessons we have learned as peer educators at the South Eastern Sydney Recovery College.

Our experience is that peer educators offer a complementary set of skills, knowledge and attitudes to both clinical educators and peer support workers. The implications for mental health services are that peers can play a significant role in educating for recovery. Establishing a peer educator workforce gives mental health services scope to co-produce recovery-oriented learning & development.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: People in the audience will gain an understanding of the unique role of the peer educator in mental health services, and how it differs from and complements those of clinical educators and peer support workers.

Learning Objective 2: This topic is relevant to mental health services as peer educators are a newly emerging and rapidly growing addition to the mental health workforce.

Bell, T., Panther, G. & Pollock, S. (2014) Establishing an effective peer workforce: A literature review, Mind Australia for the Frankston Mornington Peninsula Mental Health Alliance
Grey, F. & O’Hagan, M. (2016) “The effectiveness of services led or run by consumers in mental health: rapid review of evidence for recovery-oriented outcomes: an Evidence Check rapid review” Sax Institute for the Mental Health Commission of New South Wales

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