Peer Support & You Peer support is a highly unique and invaluable role for people with the lived experience of mental illness, supporting and enabling their peers to gain or maintain 'hope', mental health recovery and live the lifestyles of their choice. Recovery is the underpinning framework for the peer support worker and the four key concepts of recovery are the most fundamental and every day tools that the peer support worker uses as part of their peer support toolkit. So What is ? Peer support is a peer of equal standing enabling and supporting another peer to live the lifestyle of their choice. Peer support is based on mutuality, equality, social connection and information of 2 peers working and talking with each other to encourage and enable each other to live the lifestyles of their choice. Peer support is really all about having a conversation. A conversation that is meaningful for the peer and one that is undertaken which upholds their dignity and respect and their right to be in the driver's seat controlling the wheel to determine how and what they would like to do. Peer support is not about giving advice. Rather the peer support worker is the passenger in the car encouraging the peer to take control (or the driver's wheel) to make their own decisions, their own choices and their own activities which is meaningful for the peer. What is Recovery? Recovery is primarily based on four key concepts. These being: Hope Self Responsibility Information/Education Self Advocacy. These key concepts underpin all that recovery is about for the individual. Recovery is not about 'cure'. Rather recovery is about personal growth, personal decision making and taking action. Recovery is proactive. One cannot sit back and wait for recovery to happen. Many mental health services consider recovery as a 'model'. This is far from the truth of the matter. Recovery is a framework and as such is flexible so that each and every individual can and do recover and have the lifestyles of their choice, based on their own individual needs, unique circumstances and situations, and belief systems. So what has Recovery got to Do with and Workers? Anything and everything is most probably the long and short answer. If the peer support worker is undertaking their role with integrity they will be implementing on a daily basis, not only in their own lives but also with the peers they're working with, the four key concepts of recovery. They will be encouraging their peers to fulfill their hopes and dreams, and they may at times be the holders of hope when the peer/s find life tough going and unsure where or what to do next. The peer support worker will be in each and every day on a daily basis encouraging and enabling the peer/s to take their own responsibility for their decisions, actions, thinking and belief systems. To do this requires the peer support worker to regularly check in with the peer on the decisions they want to make rather than making the decisions for them. Every day and in every way the peer support worker would be informing their peers on the options and opportunities that abound and may be potentially suitable for the peer. Rather than telling the peer what to do, they would provide options of what is available for the peer to make up their own mind.For more info,Please visit mental health peer support training As the saying going 'information is power'. So too for the peer. To be provided with timely and relevant information on which to make informed choices and decisions. Self advocacy is about the peer finding their own voice and speaking up on their own behalf. Again the peer support worker would be informing the peer and having a conversation to encourage and enable the peer to speak up for the things they want in life, the services they wish to access and/or obtain. Supporting and assisting the peer to stand and walk on their own two feet rather than speaking on the peer's behalf. In conclusion As one can clearly see the uniqueness and invaluable role that peer support workers undertake can be highly valued. In many instances it can mean the difference for a peer to stay alive and keep trying and believing they too can indeed recover. Peer support is about having conversations and understanding, empathy and compassion with a peer which is non-judgmental and encourages and enables our peers to live the lifestyles of their choice. To dare to dream. To dare to bring their hopes and dreams to reality. Desley has worked in the mental health sector for over 19 years. She is a highly innovative and talented trainer, public speaker and author. Desley�s passion is all things to do with mental health, peer support and recovery. She loves to enable and encourage individuals to find their voice and uIf you are interested in learning more,click on the following