This training module will provide you with a set of recommended considerations, rather than a comprehensive list of instructions. This is because individual circumstances will vary a great deal, and it is not possible to predict all those variations and cater for them here. To assist you in gaining clarity around all elements of setting up your new group, it is a good idea to undertake extensive reading.
In line with peer support guiding principles, you can help by adding your experiences and information to this growing body of knowledge and practice. When your peer support group is established, please document the process you went through and the group details, and then upload it to the Centre of Excellence website for others to use as a resource.
Establishing a peer support group progresses through four distinct stages: Planning, Setting Up, Commencing Operations and Monitoring. This training module has been formatted in this way to help you quickly access the most relevant sections.
Before you take the first steps to set up your own peer support group, we recommend you check that there is not already one operating that can provide the support you are thinking of:
• Contact your local allied/health professional or local council. They should know about the peak body which covers your particular circumstances.
• Do an internet search and/or contact the Citizens Advice Bureau.
• Our Consumer Place and Our Community are also great places to start for useful information.
• Check local neighbourhood houses and community noticeboards to see if a similar group is already running.
• The website for the Centre of Excellence in Peer Support, www.peersupportvic.org, has a directory of peer support groups. There may be a group operating in another region that has similar goals to you, and they can provide assistance to you.