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Happy New Peer!

Happy New Year! Let’s start the year with a celebration of all the fantastic peer support work happening across the country and beyond!

When that clock chimed midnight, taking us into 1 January 2022, it brought with it new chances to work together. New opportunities to transform Scotland’s mental health system into one powered by lived experience.

There is a lot of discussion about mental health at the moment. This is great but we can sometimes lose sight of what we know helps people in their recovery:

  • Connection with other people and our communities
  • Hope and optimism for the future
  • A positive sense of Identity which recognises that we are far more than our mental health problems
  • Meaning in life through activities and roles
  • Having the ability to make our own decisions and Empower ourselves and others

Peer support does all that – and more. By being with people who share our experiences we can have positive and hope inspiring conversations and relationships. This can help us to see our value strengths, skills and passions. Being with other people highlights the role we can play in others lives. It also gives us an opportunity to get involved in activities we enjoy. All of this empowers people on their recovery journey. It enables people to live a life of their choosing even when experiencing difficulties.

Get involved with Happy New Peer!

Over the past couple of years we have faced uncertainty but there has been a flourishing of peer support projects and recovery approaches. Together we have shown that we can be creative, innovative and adaptable when needed.

We would love to hear about your work and share your opportunities and learning with others. Tell us about your peer support groups, projects and insights using #HappyNewPeer on Twitter. You can also comment on our facebook page or tag us on there using @ScottishRecoveryNetwork.

Together let’s promote and champion the importance of peer support being embedded in our mental health system!

Watch out for

This January we will launch our brand new Peer Chat With series. These short films and podcasts will feature a different guest each episode. They will bring you insights, ideas and inspiration from people using their lived experience to both support others and develop peer approaches.

We will also share the learning from our ‘What makes peer support unique?’ and ‘What makes engagement meaningful?’ events. Watch this space for free resources to help you develop recovery approaches where you are.

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We look forward to collaborating with you this year. We will continue to bring people, services and organisations together to create a mental health system that embraces peer support and is powered by lived experience. One that nurtures the NHS, third sector and all the good practice happening on the ground in communities.

Louise Christie, Director, Scottish Recovery Network