Peabody’s Mental Health Peer Support programme is a contender in the ‘Excellence in Engagement in Support and Care’ category.
Our Peer Support programme offers training for customers who have had experience of mental distress and it has proven to be an excellent way of increasing the skills and confidence of those taking part. It also provides a unique type of support to people experiencing issues with their mental health – this includes a large proportion of our care and support customers.
Along with the obvious benefit of gaining a recognised qualification, participants also develop the skills to self-manage their personal journey of recovery, enabling them to help others find their own recovery techniques, promoting the scheme across a wider range of staff and customers, and becoming recovery role models themselves. The programme has helped a lot of people who have little or no formal qualifications or who have been in hospital for such a long time that they have lost their sense of identity of confidence. The aim is to reconnect people with their strengths and slowly build their self-worth.
Since 2015, 48 people have passed their Open University accreditation and Peabody now have a team of paid peer support workers; eight trainees have sustained their employment with us for over two years.
Jamie, one of the participants who is now a paid peer worker, explains how the programme has helped him:
“Since working for Peabody, I feel my confidence has improved and the contribution I make is important. It’s been a wonderful journey … I make a meaningful difference to the lives of the people I work with. I’m now employed full-time as a peer worker and am studying counselling in the evenings.” He added:
There was a time in my life which I consider to be quite ‘dark’ and could not comprehend being positive in any way. This is now used as a strength in the work I do. I have a different and more accepting attitude towards my past and where I’m at now.
The Tpas awards are open to social housing providers, tenants and contractors. They celebrate and reward the people, ideas and organisations that help shape engagement with customers. The winners will be announced at the Tpas Awards ceremony on 29 March at The Principal Hotel in Manchester.
- To find out more about our Peer Support Programme please contact Chris Barker