Mental health network

Peer Support Workers: a practical guide to implementation

28 / 10 / 2013

The widespread introduction of people with lived experience of mental health problems into the mental health workforce is probably the single most important factor contributing to changes towards more recovery-oriented services.

ImROC paper 5, Peer Support Workers: Theory and Practice, discussed the theoretical background, core principles and the range of potential benefits. In paper 6, the practical issues of implementation are discussed in more detail.

When developing peer worker posts, it is useful to think of four sequential phases.

The first involves preparation – of the organisation as a whole, of the teams in which peers will be placed, and, perhaps most obviously, of the peers themselves.

The second phase involves recruitment of peers to the posts that have been created or existing posts that have been modified for peer workers. Given the likelihood that peer applicants may have not worked for some time, nor been through an interview process with all of the formalities and checks that this brings, the whole process needs careful support.

Thirdly, there is the safe and effective employment of peer workers in mental health organisations.

Finally, the ongoing development of peer worker opportunities and contributions needs to be considered in the context of the wider healthcare system and the changing culture
of services.

Why Register?

Great reasons to register with NHS Confederation

  • Access exclusive resources¬†
    Access member-only resources and tailor member benefits and services
  • Personalise your website
    Select topics of interest for recommended content
  • Comment and recommend
    Rate and share content with colleagues
  • Never miss a thing
    Register now to keep your finger on the pulse of the NHS Confederation

Log In