A new team of peer support workers is working alongside clinical staff at Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) to support patients on inpatient wards.
Peer support workers are supporting patients receiving care at the Linden Centre in Chelmsford on a daily basis to support them through every step of their care and recovery.
All of the team have lived or living experience of mental health challenges and many have received treatment on a mental health inpatient ward. They have also completed specialist training delivered as part of the Health Education England programme for increasing the use of peer support across mental health services.
The peer support workers will provide one-to-one and group support to patients on Galleywood, a female ward, and Finchingfield, a male ward, drawing on their own lived experiences to offer hope through recovery.
The project has initially launched as a pilot but it is hoped the Peer Support Team will expand to other inpatient mental health wards across Essex in the future.
Peer support can have a very positive impact on aiding recovery so I’m really pleased we’ve be able to launch this project to enhance our mental health services and help us provide the best possible care to patients in their time of need.Matthew Sisto, Director of Patient Experience at EPUT
“Being admitted to an inpatient ward can understandably be a very challenging time – our peer support workers will walk side-by-side with patients through their care, treatment and recovery, offering understanding, empathy, reassurance and hope.”
Peer support workers act as a light for patients who aren’t as far along their journey of recovery as you are. As people with lived experience we can be understanding, empathetic and very compassionate about what patients are going through. It can also act as a mirror helping us to continue our recovery – it feels very healing to give back in that way.”Charlotte, a peer support worker
I have been mindful over the years of the much needed and valuable resource peer support offers so I’m grateful for the opportunity to provide peer support, inspiring hope and helping others see the possibilities, so they too can move forward in their lives.”Renee is a peer support worker and mental health therapist with lived experience of depression and anxiety.
EPUT is looking for people with lived experience of mental health to join their Peer Support Team. Anyone who would like to find out more can email [email protected]
You can listen to three peer support workers speaking about their experiences and journeys to recovery in the ‘Lived Experience Matters’ podcast produced by EPUT’s Patient Experience Team. The podcast is available at https://www.buzzsprout.com/2175919/13048154