Inspire | Educate | Empower
Peer To Peer Support Groups
What Are Peer Support Groups?
In its simplest form peer support occurs when people with lived experiences, share these experiences to help each other. Although family, friends and colleagues often provide great support, we can find some subjects difficult to discuss with those close to us. Sometimes we may not want to concern those close to us, we may think they will not understand or fear prejudice and stigma from colleagues.
This is where peer support groups can really provide invaluable support, at the start of your journey, in addition to any professional therapy and moving forward following discharge from any therapy, peer support groups should always be considered when planning your recovery plan.
Peer support is more effective when:
· the people brought together have shared experience
· a safe and trusted space is provided
· the group is non-judgmental
· everyone's experience is treated equally
Peer support can be provided by a group with specific shared experiences such as bereavement, grief or a broad range of mental health concerns. Talking and listening is key to any peer support group, but this does not necessarily mean a sit down meeting, we offer walk & talk formats, outdoor activities, craft sessions and even cooking skills.
For many, sharing their experience and giving support can be as beneficial as receiving it.
Is peer support for me?
Many people find peer support helps them to manage their mental health and wellbeing and can:
· show you that you are not alone.
· learn form experience of others
· help you connect with others in your community
· build confidence in your own abilities to cope
· help you understand the professional or clinical assistance you need
Peer support has been proven to be a very effective support to people who are struggling a little bit, those receiving treatment such as therapy and as an ongoing support system for individuals following discharge from professional services, but, peer support is NOT a substitute for clinical or professional treatment.
If you are concerned about your mental health, you should consult your GP, consider self referral to the NHS, ring the Samaritans on 116 123 or call 111. If it is urgent you can call 999 or attend the nearest A&E, as the majority of hospitals have mental health professionals on call.
Do not suffer in silence, you are NOT alone.
We currently offer a number of Peer Support groups, with trained Peer Support Facilitators running them, ensuring they are a safe space for you to be in, so please use the link below for more details.