Peer Support in Mental Health

There is a renewed acknowledgement of the role of peer support in mental health with new government policies calling for the appointment of peer support workers within mental health services. While this is a welcome move, there is also a danger that the values and ethos of peer support, based as it is in self-determination, reciprocity, empathy and shared experience, might be lost given its professionalisation, especially in the context of decreasing resources within the NHS. Alison Faulkner and Jayasree Kalathil were commissioned by the mental health charity Together to explore the views of mental health service users and peer support services on these new developments, and would need to be focused on in order to preserve the values and ethos of peer support and self-help.The report 'The Freedom to be, the Chance to Dream' was published by Together in 2013.