Welcome! The Mutual Support and Self Help Consortium led by ARAFEMI recognise the key role peer support workers play in supporting consumers and carers. The Centre for Excellence in Peer Support has been establish to support peer support work by highlighting the value and validity of peer support and providing a central point for information-sharing and exchange. You can find an overview of what this website and the Centre for Excellence in Peer Support offer here.
Peer support workers may find it useful to:
- Find resources to use in your work, such as sample forms, templates and guidelines
- Access recent research on peer support
- Find out about upcoming training and peer support positions being advertised here
- Download training modules or request hardcopies to be sent to you here (coming soon)
- Locate other peer support services in the Directory
- Post questions about issues you have faced and share your knowledge and experience with others on the Forum
Below are some stories peer support workers have shared:
After being an outreach worker in mental health, Matt wanted to be able to share his own lived experience, especially if it could help a client with their own recovery. He took a role as a peer support worker to foster the hope that people with a mental illness can achieve things in life and learn to lead a full and fulfilling life by putting certain supports and strategies into place. He finds it very rewarding seeing people realise their potential and that they are not limited by their mental illness.
Maria had an undiagnosed learning disability. This led to her leaving school at 14 and becoming homeless. She became severely depressed, attempted suicide and was hospitalised. When she was linked to an outreach worker and community house network, Maria was diagnosed with dyslexia and she was able to restart her education. Later, she wanted to support others who had had similar experiences. After some volunteer mentoring at a local high school, she gained a position as a Peer Support Worker in the Personal Helpers and Mentors Program. Though she finds it frustrating at times, she is inspired by people who express their gratitude for her honesty in sharing her experiences.
Joseph experienced effects of living with a sibling with mental illness: isolation, substance abuse, constant worry and inability to sleep. He became a peer support worker and now experiences a tremendouse sense of community and self-worth, through being able to offer empathy to people who need it most. He says it gives his journey (and his brother's) a sense of purpose, meaning and justification.