Peer Support Service

Peer Support Workers are people with personal experience of mental health conditions who are trained and employed to work in a formalised role to support others during recovery.

What is peer support?

What is peer support?

Peer support is when people use their own experiences to support others who are having similar experiences. Examples of this are a service user who has experienced psychosis supporting other service users with psychosis or a carer supporting family members of someone who has entered an inpatient ward. Peer Support complements the support given by healthcare professionals to inspire hope and empower others to reach their own individual recovery goals and make sense of their personal recovery journey.  

What is recovery?

What is recovery?

The recovery journey is not just about clinical recovery from symptoms. It is a process of change towards wellbeing and finding a sense of hope, control and purpose in life that looks beyond long-term conditions and illness. Recovery is about all of a person's life, not just their symptoms and can mean different things to different people.  Everyone's recovery journey is unique and personal to them.

What is a peer support worker?

What is a peer support worker?

A Peer Support Worker (PSW) is someone who has personal experience of living with a condition such as mental health difficulties, learning disabilities, gender dysphoria or neurodiversity, including ADHD and Autism. They may have experienced these things themselves or be a carer for someone who has and will usually have had support from secondary services. 

Peer support workers have perspective and understanding of recovery and living well with long term conditions, including what can support recovery journeys. 

This personal experience can help others on their own recovery journey by promoting hope and providing support based on shared experiences. Peer support workers are recruited because of their journey, experiences and passion for supporting others 

Peer support workers are in a stage of their recovery where they can manage their own well-being. They have developed techniques and strategies to keep themselves well long term and feel able to support others without harming their own well-being. 

 Peer support workers understand their own personal strengths and limitations and seek appropriate support if needed.

For more information about the peer support take a look at the following videos:

Peer Support Work - Charlie's story: Peer Support Work Charlie's Story - YouTube

Recovery – Rachel Perkins:  Rachel Perkins Lecture, May 2015 - YouTube

Peer Support – Julie Repper:  Föreläsning av professor Julie Repper om peer support - YouTube

What do peer support workers do?

What do peer support workers do?

Work collaboratively one to one or with groups of service users, families and carers enabling service users to lead their own recovery journey and make their own choices. 

Find and enable opportunities in the community that are specific to an individual's aspirations and dreams 

Inspire hope for a person receiving services and encourage them to believe in their potential and strengths. 

Recognise that recovery is individual for different people. It is day to day living and not a final destination.

Value people as individuals and accept people for who they are and where they are at a particular time in their recovery. 

Are free of judgement and assumptions about a person and their experiences. 

Are committed to supporting people to improve their health and well-being. 

 Are able to recall and share their own mental health experiences to inspire recovery in the lives of others. 

Are able to work positively on a one-to-one basis, independently, and within a team 

What a Peer Support Worker is not.

A Peer Support Worker is not a clinical role. PSW's do not make diagnoses or provide treatments and therapy.


Peer support and recovery college

Peer support and recovery college

The Recovery College offers a range of courses which may be of interest including a ‘What is Peer Support?’ Course.

For course dates and to find out more information about enrolling, please contact the Recovery College office at or call 01604 658815 (open Monday – Friday 9:30am to 4pm).


Peer support training available


Peer support workers share the wisdom from their own lived experiences to inspire hope and belief that recovery is possible in other service users and carers.

Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) is offering 25 individuals with lived experience (either as a service user or carer) the opportunity to undertake Peer Support Training.

This training provides attendees with the qualifications needed to apply for Peer Support Worker positions as they become available in NHFT.

You can access the online digital Expressions of Interest form here

OR you can download the  Peer support training expression of interest.docx [docx] 65KB and email it to our team at

For information on filling in the form you can download the following documents:

Further dates for 2022 are to be annouced.

When and where will the training take place?

The training will begin with an introductory day on Tuesday, January 11th 2022 and continue every Tuesday until 22nd March 2022. Students are expected to attend all sessions.

The training will be delivered online, and there will be some self-directed study. 

What will the training involve? 

The course is delivered by ImROC (Implementing Recovery through Organisation Change) and is facilitated by qualified and experienced teams with peer and professional qualifications.

The course comprises of sixteen modules and a placement. Training days will run from 10.00 until 16.00 and include short breaks and a one-hour lunch break. Two modules will be delivered on each full day of training

Each module includes: 

·          Approximately 1 hour of pre course preparation to be done before joining the online teaching session. 

·          Online teaching sessions via Zoom (2.5 hours each) 

·          A reflection in the form of a written piece of work or a recording. The reflections will be completed in your own time and submitted to your course tutor. 

Course structure and overview  

The first eight modules focus on the core principles and skills used in peer support. 

The second eight modules focus on the practical aspects of working in peer support. 

The first eight modules: 

In each module, we work through one or more of the core principles of Peer Support and recovery, reflect on personal definitions of these, and how they relate to peer support relationships. We also think about the key skills involved in peer support and spend time practising listening differently skills, sharing our own experiences, thinking about boundaries, and making strengths-based language choices. After each module, we ask students to write or record a short reflection that relates to what was covered and their key learning. 

The second eight modules:

These focus on specific issues relating to peer support, including building, sustaining, and ending peer relationships, understanding the dos and don’ts of a peer relationship, equity, equality and diversity and peer support and group facilitation. We may invite guest speakers, including peer workers, staff members and experts, to share their experiences during these days as a way of celebrating different perspectives and learning from a wide range of people. We suggest additional reading material for students to read throughout the course to build on what is covered in the classroom. 

We take a peer support approach to learning – no one person is the expert. As a group, we learn from each other and are prepared to develop our understanding based on reflection and discussion. We believe everybody has something valuable and equally important to contribute. There is no single ‘right’ way to offer peer support; the course provides an opportunity to develop your understanding of what peer support means to you and how you would offer this to others.  


All trainees must undertake a voluntary placement of between 15 and 30 hours to practice the skills they have learned. The placement will be organised within NHFT or local organisations and be supported by a placement mentor and the Peer Support Coordinator. Placements will be structured around what works for the trainee and the service offering them the placement. Placements may start before the end of the online training or when it has been completed, depending on what works best for the trainee and what placement opportunities are available. 

To graduate as an ImROC accredited Peer Support Worker, each trainee will need to: 

·          Attend at least 80% of the classroom days 

·          Complete between 15 and 30 hours of voluntary placement 

·          Provide written or recorded reflections on all classroom modules

How do I find out more? 

For an informal chat and to find out more, please contact Kirstie Mycroft, Peer Support Co-ordinator, on 07842 301573 or email 

I have decided I would like to apply

Please complete the Expression of Interest form and send it to

If you would prefer a paper version of the Expression of Interest form or need help completing it, please get in touch with Kirstie on email

Training does not lead directly into a paid role. However, several services within NHFT have identified paid positions that will be advertised in 2021 /2022. These include but are not limited to:

·          Specialist Perinatal and Maternal Mental Health Services

·          Crisis Mental Health Pathway 

·          Early Intervention in Psychosis (known as N-STEP) 

·          A newly developing Complex Trauma Service 

·          Adult Mental Health Inpatient Services

·          Carers

Jobs will be advertised through the NHS Jobs website and students will be notified of them as they arise. We are interested in applications from people with a variety of lived experiences. 


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