The following showcases a selection of peer support services, projects and initiatives. It is designed to highlight work which has been done in this area and the history, philosophy and models used by different organisations. For more information about any of this work, please contact services or project leaders through the contact details provided.
To share details of your peer support initiatives on this page, email email@example.com
MindNet Mental Health Support, UK
MindNet is an online peer-to-peer support forum based in the UK. They have a close but welcoming and non judgemental community who offer support to each other during times of crisis and in general and members at their site hail from various parts of the world. Before you start posting, it's worth mentioning that all of the forums at MindNet are visible to the public with the exception of the Safe Haven and the Thunderdome which are only visible to members.
Buddy Care, South Africa
Post Traumatic Growth Response and Resources (PTGRR) are a non-profit organisation in South Africa, whose mandate is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, trauma and stress.
Their vision is to provide affordable response and resources, to any South African with any form of traumatic stress that negatively affects their day to day functioning and quality of life.
They operate a service called Buddy Care which operates from a platform of trauma-informed care, a strengths-based framework, that emphasises physical, psychological and emotional safety for both providers and survivors, and that creates opportunities for people to rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.
Buddy Care Community Trauma Support Forums are a network of support groups (including online Facebook groups) for people who face challenges coping with traumatic events in their lives, the lives of a family member or close friend; and professional caregivers who are exposed to secondary vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue. The online forum can be accessed via their website.
Buddy Care have developed a code of ethics, or creed, which can be accessed here.
For more information contact Brian Rogers: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website.
PeerZone, Australia & New Zealand
PeerZone is a series of 19 three hour peer-led workshops for people who experience mental health and addiction problems. It was developed by Mary O’Hagan and other peers. The workshops explore distress, recovery and all the major life domains such as lifestyle, relationships, housing and employment. PeerZone orientates peer facilitators to deliver workshops and is backed up by online resources and support services for facilitators.
PeerZone works on three levels in individual participants who come to the workshops:
- It invites them to rebuild a more positive story of their lives.
- It offers tools for whole of life wellbeing.
- It creates a community of mutual support.
PeerZone was fully rolled out in Australia and New Zealand in 2013:
- We have trained 66 facilitators from 33 services.
- So far they have facilitated workshops to hundreds of participants.
- 87% of participants rated the workshops as excellent.
Toka Tū, New Zealand
A Kites Trust project: Enhancing and evidencing peer support in Aotearoa New Zealand
Toka Tū is an evaluation and research project involving 11 mental health and/or addiction NGO peer support programmes in Aotearoa New Zealand. The aims of Toka Tū are to increase the capability and capacity of participating organisations to undertake evaluation as well as to begin to develop a much needed evidence base associated with recovery-focused peer-support services in New Zealand.
This three year project uses developmental, participatory action methodology to answer the following questions:
1. What are the processes and outcomes being supported by NGO peer-support services?
2. What are the resources and procedures that will support NGOs to initiate and undertake ongoing evaluation of peer support services?
Toka Tū is a project managed by Kites Trust. Kites works to ensure people who experience mental health/addiction problems have equal opportunities as all citizens to live, work and participate in the community.
More information is available on the project website, including resources and outcome measurement tools. Click here to download the latest project update, or visit the website for further information:
Our Consumer Place, Melbourne
Our Consumer Place is a mental health resource centre run by mental health consumers (people who have a lived experience of ‘mental illness’). We believe that consumer perspective and consumer leadership are vital in how we understand and respond to ‘mental illness’. All our staff have lived experience as consumers and countless other consumers contribute to OCP when additional expertise is required.
Our Consumer Place does not deliver peer support directly, but plays an important role in supporting peer work. We deliver training in Intentional Peer Support (IPS), which was developed by Shery Mead and is a model of peer support that is trauma informed and deeply respectful of lived experience. We provide networking and training opportunities for peer workers and other consumers, provide resources that are relevant to the peer workforce and participate in policy development and consultations. We provide space for consumers to discuss challenging issues on our own terms and ultimately, foster a culture that respects and values peer support and consumer perspective.
Contact: Flick Grey, Resource Co-ordinator
Ph: (03) 9320 6802
Peer Work Project, South Australia
The Peer Work Project (PWP) is a collaborative project between the Mental Illness Fellowship South Australia (MIFSA) and Baptist Care (SA) Inc. It was initiated in 2005, following a commitment by the Mental Health Unit to grow and support Peer Workers in South Australia.
The project offers training and support to individuals who wish to utilise their lived experiences with mental health. The PWP runs an introduction to Peer Work (IPW) course. The PWP also facilitates a variety of other professional development workshops and have developed training materials for the Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work.
Individuals who complete the course or who are working as Peer Workers are invited to register to the Peer Network, where they are kept up to date on employment opportunities, relevant information, are invited to share articles of interest and can access both pre employment and on the job Peer Mentoring support.
The PWP also offer training and support to organisations wishing to employ Peer Workers. The PWP team can support organisations to develop job and person specifications, assess organisational need, support change management structures, provide staff training/information as well as on the job supports for staff.
Contact: Deiniol Griffith, Project Co-ordinator
Mental Illness Fellowship SA
Ph: (08) 8378 4100