A network for anyone with an interest in
adult education and mental health

Text Size: A+ Reset A-


REAL project peer support

A DfE Community Learning | Mental Health Research site 2015-17

Creating peer support groups has proved to be an excellent way to sustain developments locally using the research funding. It resulted in 4 self-supporting groups across Somerset, and 5th group in Taunton, which empowered individuals to meet on a regular basis to support each others' recovery.

For example, how one peer support group helped someone who experienced anxiety when going to the supermarket. The group decided to go with her. She now has developed enough confidence to access the supermarket on her own. There is a huge potential for these groups as they actively seek opportunities for peer support action in the community and reduce social isolation.

Course Content

  • Understand the value of peer support
  • Learn tools to enable active participation in learning activities that support self-management and recovery from mental health conditions
  • Recognise the benefits in peer support learning activities: reducing feelings of isolation, improving confidence and independence, milestone setting, progression and achievement, moving on into further learning, voluntary work and job prospects.
  • Explore the five principles of peer support: 
          • Barriers to change
          • Fears of learning
          • Mutuality
          • Equality and diversity
          • Boundaries
  • How to form and maintain a learning peer support group in Chard and progress to mentoring your peers
  • To build confidence in working toward your overall goals, in your own way.

"In co-delivering this pilot scheme, the first course in Chard, it has shown me again the benefits of learning in a peer group. Members shared their fears of learning, change, stigma and how this keeps them 'stuck'. Sharing their thoughts/feelings in the first session has now enabled them to consider variations of learning and how they can attend education together and even bring courses to their newly formed peer group."

Julie Matthews, W.A.T.CH Project Manager

Contact WATCH CIC by e-mail ruthcrooks.watchproject@gmail.com
or phone/text Julie Matthews on 07506238540

Back to ...