Peer Support & Self Management Groups
‘Peer Support has given me a chance to use my lived experience in a positive way to help people going through similar things.’
Peer support takes place when people with experience of mental distress support each other towards better wellbeing, as people of equal value.
The Southwark Wellbeing Hub operates under Together’s unique model of Peer Support. You can find out more about this model of Peer Support here.
The Hub currently has two forms of Peer Support on offer: 1-1 Peer Support and Group Peer Support (Self Management).
1-1 Peer Support
Your Peer Supporter will provide emotional support, help you identify coping strategies and support you to set goals for your wellbeing. They will draw on their experience of mental distress and/or using mental health services as a tool for support.
Our volunteer Peer Supporters come from a variety of different backgrounds and lived experiences of mental health, so you are able to choose what you would like in your Peer Supporter – we will do our best to accommodate those preferences.
Peer Support happens in the community. Together, we will agree where you and your Peer Supporter would like to meet, such as in a local gallery, library or café.
Peer Supporters are recruited and supported by our Peer Support Coordinators, who also have lived experience of mental distress. Peer support usually lasts up to six months, but can continue beyond this point if needed.
People who have received one-to-one and group Peer Support in the past say that they:
- Have had an increase in confidence
- Feel less socially isolated
- Feel more in control to make decisions
- Feel more accepted for their mental health
- Have an improved social support network
- Feel more able to self-manage
- Are more hopeful for the future
‘It has been really good to talk to someone who has gone through something similar as since I have been out of hospital I have met people who have experienced mental distress, but very different experiences to mine.’
Self Management Groups
Please note that all groups are currently on hold due to Covid-19.
We also offer Group Peer Support through our Self Management Groups, which focus on coping strategies, managing wellbeing and setting goals. Our Self-Management Peer Support Group is facilitated by people with lived experience of mental distress.
We can help you learn a set of problem solving, goal setting and self-care techniques, taught by people who have “been there” themselves. After the sessions, a regular Peer Support Group will continue to meet independently of the Hub, where people will work together to overcome the challenges of daily life.
Our Self Management Programme usually runs every 3-4 months.
Volunteering as a Peer Supporter
‘I have found the role and being able to share my lived experience so rewarding, liberating and empowering, and has most definitely been boosting my confidence and undoubtedly contributed to keeping me well.’
If you have lived experience of mental distress and feel you would like to use it to support someone else towards better mental wellbeing, we recruit new Peer Supporters around twice a year. Peer Supporters have the option to support service users on a one-to-one basis, in a group setting, or both.
If you are keen to volunteer with us as a Peer Supporter, you can find out more here.