Mental Health Peer Support in Action
A ray of sunshine arrived via email recently, it made me go “YES!” and the author, Andrew Johnson, agreed that it was ok to share. This reiterates the importance of access to peer support for people experiencing mental health difficulties:-
Hi Donna –
I was lucky enough to be around the other day whilst one of LYPFT’s Peer Support Worker’s was busy about their usual business. What I witnessed was a brilliant, yet entirely ordinary piece of work and I felt I had to pass comment.
The three parties involved (worker/patient/carer) had a prior knowledge of each other achieved through use of services and the therapeutic relationship was pre-established and well grounded. This enabled the PSW to freely discuss the benefits and disadvantages of a particular anti-psychotic medication that they themselves had experience of using in a way I had not witnessed before, seamlessly interweaving relevant clinical information with social themes and everyday off topic conversations. Familiar recovery barriers around professional distancing, stigma et al just didn’t stand a chance!
The rapport, warmth and authenticity on display during this interaction made a real impression on me and really underlined the value of sharing Lived Experience in practice in an atmosphere of mutuality and collaboration.
Sure I understand that not all practitioners – and not all patients – value the ‘timid revolution of Lived Experience in practice’, but if we are really serious about improving health, improving lives then we must find a way of doing more.
Learn more about Lived Experience in the Workforce here.