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Embedding peer support using social work values

Embedding peer support using social work values Purpose– The employment of mental health consumers as peer support workers (PSWs) to provide support to other consumers is gaining momentum around the world. The purpose of this paper is to explore the tensions and dilemmas for a social worker in developing a peer support programme at an inpatient psychiatric service in Australia. The author draws on her experience of embedding a peer support programme providing an insight into the difficulties experienced and strategies used which supported the embedding of PSWs. The discipline of social work has complimentary values to the philosophy of peer support as well as the skills to manage the broad range of activities and tasks associated with developing a new programme. Due to the profession’s underlying knowledges and values social work is able to act as a bridge between mental health professionals such as doctors and nurses and PSWs giving social workers the ability to “interpret” the divergent languages, values, beliefs and practices. Design/methodology/approach– A retrospective analysis of peer support programme implementation using social work values as a point of reference. Findings– The author draws on her experience of embedding a peer support programme providing an insight into the difficulties experienced and strategies used which supported the embedding of PSWs. Due to the profession’s underlying knowledges and values social work is able to act as a bridge between mental health professionals such as doctors and nurses and PSWs giving social workers the ability to “interpret” the divergent languages, values, beliefs and practices. Social implications– This paper arose out of a conference presentation and author’s Master’s Dissertation, for which she received honours marks. During the period she was implementing the peer support programme, there was a dearth of local (Australian) literature about peer support programme development; this paper is a response to that need as the author would have greatly appreciated some local wisdom about embedding peer support programmes. Originality/value– The authors believe this is a unique approach to a journal paper; certainly the authors have not discovered anything of its ilk previously. There is a lot of material available now about peer support, its benefits and challenges, and many are written by social work, psychology, psychiatric and nursing academics but without overt statement of the professional values which inform their practice. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Mental Health Training Education and Practice Emerald Publishing

Embedding peer support using social work values

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References (13)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1755-6228
DOI
10.1108/JMHTEP-06-2015-0028
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose– The employment of mental health consumers as peer support workers (PSWs) to provide support to other consumers is gaining momentum around the world. The purpose of this paper is to explore the tensions and dilemmas for a social worker in developing a peer support programme at an inpatient psychiatric service in Australia. The author draws on her experience of embedding a peer support programme providing an insight into the difficulties experienced and strategies used which supported the embedding of PSWs. The discipline of social work has complimentary values to the philosophy of peer support as well as the skills to manage the broad range of activities and tasks associated with developing a new programme. Due to the profession’s underlying knowledges and values social work is able to act as a bridge between mental health professionals such as doctors and nurses and PSWs giving social workers the ability to “interpret” the divergent languages, values, beliefs and practices. Design/methodology/approach– A retrospective analysis of peer support programme implementation using social work values as a point of reference. Findings– The author draws on her experience of embedding a peer support programme providing an insight into the difficulties experienced and strategies used which supported the embedding of PSWs. Due to the profession’s underlying knowledges and values social work is able to act as a bridge between mental health professionals such as doctors and nurses and PSWs giving social workers the ability to “interpret” the divergent languages, values, beliefs and practices. Social implications– This paper arose out of a conference presentation and author’s Master’s Dissertation, for which she received honours marks. During the period she was implementing the peer support programme, there was a dearth of local (Australian) literature about peer support programme development; this paper is a response to that need as the author would have greatly appreciated some local wisdom about embedding peer support programmes. Originality/value– The authors believe this is a unique approach to a journal paper; certainly the authors have not discovered anything of its ilk previously. There is a lot of material available now about peer support, its benefits and challenges, and many are written by social work, psychology, psychiatric and nursing academics but without overt statement of the professional values which inform their practice.

Journal

The Journal of Mental Health Training Education and PracticeEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 2, 2015

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