The peer support session presented a range of different projects and perspectives. Karen Machin (MHPRU LEWG member, peer support trainer and PhD student) gave a fantastic overview of peer support, which was beautifully illustrated in pictures. Dr Una Foye (Research Fellow, MHPRU) then discussed an interview study which is exploring the experiences of peer support workers who are working across a range of UK settings (e.g. NHS, charity). Dr Ruth Cooper (Research Associate, MHPRU) then presented another project being conducted at the MHPRU, which is a systematic umbrella review of peer support for mental health which summarises the effectiveness, experiences, and implementation of peer support. Finally, Gabrielle Duberry (CAPSA Service Manager) and Daniel Danjuma (CAPSA Peer Advocate and Peer Support Worker) talked about the CAPSA Service (Culturally Appropriate Peer Support Advocacy) and the fantastic work this service does providing culturally appropriate peer support and advocacy to black members of the Lambeth community who have mental health needs.
The second part of the session consisted of an insightful peer support panel. Gabrielle Duberry and Daniel Danjuma (CAPSA) discussed why peer support and activism and advocacy are closely related. Tamar Jeynes (Lived Experience Practitioner, MHPRU LEWG member) talked about ‘Mad’ activism and of the importance of lived experience in the centre of this work. Sharif Mussa (peer support worker and mental health nurse) described managing different identities when working as a peer worker and a mental health nurse. Julie Repper (Director of Implementing Recovery through Organisational Change discussed drawing on lived experience in practice. The audience asked about the ideal length of time for peer workers to work with service users, and for recommendations for peer support programmes for people from ethnic minority groups.
Watch the panel session here.