VOS is developing a Peer Mentor scheme to complement its other services, as we recognise the potential that peer support offers to help people with mental health problems.
A Peer Mentor is a peer who offers intentional support in a structured setting. Peer mentors may be more experienced in a particular skill or service and act as mentors to those who are less experienced. Within VOS, our Peer Mentors will be Service Users who have ‘lived experience’ of mental health problems, but who have recovered sufficiently to offer support to others who have not reached quite the same point on their recovery journey. They can inspire and give people hope. Peer mentors will establish relationships with individuals and provide emotional and practical support. They will inspire others, keeping hopes and aspirations alive and support them in their own recovery plan.
The advantages of a Peer Mentor scheme are:
For the individual receiving support:
- Improved probability of recovery.
- Shared identity and acceptance.
- Increased self-confidence.
- Develop and share personal skills.
- Improved emotional resilience and wellbeing.
- Information and signposting.
- Challenge stigma and discrimination.
For the Peer Mentor:
- Enhanced self-esteem and confidence
- Complements personal recovery.
- Increases chances of further employment, personal development and achievement of life goals.
We are currently seeking volunteer Peer Mentors amongst our Service Users. If you feel that this could be a role for you please contact us. The skills we are looking for include: active listening, problem solving, personal recovery planning, managing challenging situations, valuing difference, team working, respect for boundaries and the ability to tell their own story appropriately, but we have a full training and development programme planned.