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Peer support in mental health: where are we today?

Peer support in mental health: where are we today? Purpose– This paper aims to provide a summary of where peer support currently sits in the UK mental health services policy and practice. It presents an overview of models of peer support; the UK national policy on peer support; evidence of the benefits of peer support; case studies of recent and continuing peer support in action; challenges facing peer support; and suggestions for developing peer support in the future. Design/methodology/approach– The paper selects and discusses evidence from academic literature and policy and practice on peer support within the UK. Findings– The evidence base demonstrating the benefits of peer support in mental health across the UK is increasing. This has persuaded UK governmental bodies to encourage the development of peer support services, of which there is a number of models and examples, although the current economic climate poses challenges to their development. Originality/value– Historically, peer support in mental health services across the UK has developed piecemeal. But at a time when policy-makers, health practitioners and people who use mental health services are increasingly recognising the benefits of peer support, this paper draws key evidence together and provides pointers towards the future development of such services. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Mental Health Training Education and Practice Emerald Publishing

Peer support in mental health: where are we today?

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References (23)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1755-6228
DOI
10.1108/JMHTEP-03-2013-0009
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose– This paper aims to provide a summary of where peer support currently sits in the UK mental health services policy and practice. It presents an overview of models of peer support; the UK national policy on peer support; evidence of the benefits of peer support; case studies of recent and continuing peer support in action; challenges facing peer support; and suggestions for developing peer support in the future. Design/methodology/approach– The paper selects and discusses evidence from academic literature and policy and practice on peer support within the UK. Findings– The evidence base demonstrating the benefits of peer support in mental health across the UK is increasing. This has persuaded UK governmental bodies to encourage the development of peer support services, of which there is a number of models and examples, although the current economic climate poses challenges to their development. Originality/value– Historically, peer support in mental health services across the UK has developed piecemeal. But at a time when policy-makers, health practitioners and people who use mental health services are increasingly recognising the benefits of peer support, this paper draws key evidence together and provides pointers towards the future development of such services.

Journal

The Journal of Mental Health Training Education and PracticeEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 16, 2013

Keywords: Peer support; Recovery; Commissioning; Mental health policy; Mental health services; United Kingdom

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