Peer working: a new way of working in mental health

30th September 2013

A new publication developed by SRN for the Scottish Government demonstrates that peer working is set to become an increasingly important part of recovery focused services.

Commitment 3 of the Scottish Government’s current mental health strategy states: “We will commission a short review of work to date in Scotland on peer support as a basis for learning lessons and extending the use of the model more widely.”

In 2013, the Government commissioned SRN to carry out this review, resulting in a new paper that brings together a range of information on peer working and is informed by the experiences and voices of peer workers and those who have developed, or are developing, peer worker posts.

As we know, recovery focused services involve people and use all available expertise, including lived experience. This is to ensure that the help and the support available is what best meets the requirements of people to lead their own recovery and develop a fulfilling and satisfying life. Peer working is a key component of a recovery focused system.

Scotland is currently in a period of public service transformation, with a range of strategies, policies and legislation recognising the need for radical change in the way services are designed and delivered. SRN’s peer working paper sits within this framework and seeks to inform thinking of what services will look like in the future. It is clear that more or less of the same will not help us fully achieve our policy objectives. New ways of working, including new types of jobs and approaches are needed.

Download the SRN review of peer working

The paper was distributed by the Scottish Government in September 2013, accompanied by this letter from Angiolina Foster CBE, Director of the Scottish Government’s Health and Social Care Integration Directorate.