The Freedom to be, the Chance to Dream

A study examining the importance of preserving the values and ethos of user-led peer support and self-help in the context of new policies to professionalise peer support.

 

There is a renewed acknowledgement of the role of peer support in mental health with new government policies calling for the appointment of peer support workers within mental health services. While this is a welcome move, there is also a danger that the values and ethos of peer support, based as it is in self-determination, reciprocity, empathy and shared experience, might be lost given its professionalisation, especially in the context of decreasing resources within the NHS. The report 'The Freedom to be, the Chance to Dream: Preserving User-led Peer Support in Mental Health', commissioned by the mental health charity Together and written by Alison Faulkner and Jayasree Kalathil, is based on a consultation with mental health service users and peer support services and their views on these new developments.

Read the full report.