What is Peer Support?

‘Peer support is a system of giving and receiving help founded on key principles of respect, shared responsibility, and mutual agreement of what is helpful. Peer support is not based on psychiatric models and diagnostic criteria. It is about understanding another’s situation empathetically through the shared experience of emotional and psychological pain (Mead, 2003, p.1)

A quality that makes them stand out from other staff is that Mental Health Peer Support Workers draw directly on their own lived experiences of mental health difficulties or caring for someone else who is experiencing such difficulties’ – HEE, 2020

Read more about peer support history, models and training in this presentation.

Peer Support roles are key roles within the Community Mental Health Transformation programme that we want to grow and develop across all of our organisations. We identified that there is significant variance across our Organisations in how we describe Peer Support, the language used in job titles and job descriptions. There were also disparities in salary levels and the level of training provided for these roles.

A task and finish group was established with representation from across VCSE, statutory organisations and Peer Support Workers to explore the following areas:

  • Research piece to see what exists - to collate and share job descriptions and person specifications from each place, to review the commonalities and differences
  • Review against the existing training available within the VCSE and HEE
  • Articulate a shared view on consistency of language around peer support, peer mentors, peer supervisory roles
  • Explore the infrastructure and supervision roles needed to support the roles.

You can find out more about the outcomes from this work in this document.

This is a Peer Support Worker role description and person specification