Peer support is based on offering and receiving help based on shared understanding, respect and mutual empowerment. The introduction of people with lived experience of mental health problems into the mental health workforce is a hugely significant step in a service becoming more recovery focused.This report sets out four phases for an organisation looking to introduce peer worker posts: preparation; recruitment; employment; and ongoing development. The guide advises organisations on the key questions they need to ask, such as: Why do we want to employ peer support workers? What difference they hope they will make? It then goes on to address ten common myths and misconceptions that peer workers come up against. The guide also provides sample documents including peer support worker job descriptions, person specifications, and a disclosure and barring service (DBS) (formerly CRB) assessment framework.
This paper follows Peer Support Workers: Theory and Practice, which introduces the concepts and principles of peer support and presents examples from organisations which now have peers in their workforce.