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Together adds summer dates to peer support training programme

Posted on 16, April 2013

Together is inviting people to apply for places on an 8-day peer support training programme this summer, following the success of similar courses that have been running since November last year.

Peer supporters draw on their own experiences of mental distress to help others towards better mental wellbeing, and it has been shown that genuine, meaningful peer support can help people to take huge strides towards improved mental health.

Together’s training prepares people to use their own experience of mental distress to help others through distressing times, by developing their understanding, knowledge, confidence and practical skills. Trainers use a self-reflective approach that is designed to help those on the course in their own lives as well as providing a strong foundation for helping others. Skills that are developed on the course include positive communication, coaching, goal setting, focusing on people’s strengths and asking the right questions in the right way.

The training is aimed at anyone who has experienced mental distress themselves (no matter what point they are at in their recovery) and would like to support others through their experiences. It may be particularly useful for those who are already giving support on an informal basis, and who would like to consolidate their skills through formal training.

The programme has been designed by staff and service users in Together’s Service User Involvement Directorate and is service user-led. This means that the content of the programme really focuses on what service users find helpful in peer support, and the delivery style positively embraces people’s lived experience and encourages peer support throughout the duration of the programme itself. Many of the trainers have themselves used mental health services, and all have extensive knowledge and experience of peer support.

The qualification could help those seeking a route into employment in mental health settings, or be used informally with family and friends.

The closing date for applications is 7 May 2013. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. For more information about the course, contact Angela Newton by emailing or calling 01524 62039. To book a place, email, call 0207 780 7364, or download an application form here.

Training days (all times are from 10.30am – 4.00pm):

Thursday 23rd May 2013       An introduction to Peer Support

Thursday 30th May                 The role of Peer Supporters

Wednesday 5th June              Positive Communication

Monday 10th June                  Sharing Our Stories

Tuesday 18th June                 Supporting Our Peers: coaching for hope

Monday 24th June                  Supporting Our Peers: coaching toolkit I

Monday 1st July                     Supporting Our Peers: coaching toolkit II

Monday 8th July                     Supporting Ourselves as Peer Supporters

Monday 29th July                   Observation recording of Peer Support


Rates for attending complete course and all course material per person:

Service User Groups / Unwaged:  £28 per session – £224 for 8 sessions

Voluntary Sector: £58 per session – £464

Statutory Sector: £88 per session – £704 for 8 sessions

We hope to secure accreditation of this training programme in 2013. You will be able to receive backdated accreditation credits if you complete, submit and pass assessed work. Accreditation will cost £100 per person.