Key to the concept of recovery is the need to transform the workforce by changing the skill mix and balance between traditional mental health professionals and people whose expertise comes from 'lived experience'. The creation of peer specialists roles, different from, but equal to, traditional service roles is one of the organisational challenges that must be addressed by mental health services if they are to become more recovery-oriented. Also visit the blog, where Gene Johnson writes about peer support.

Frequently asked questions about peer support

In April 2012 the Centre and NHS Confederation held a conference on the role of peer workers in mental health services. Here, peer workers and peer trainers talk about their experience of peer support and answer questions about the peer support role in a series of short videos.

Why do we need peer workers?

Terry Bowyer, Peer support worker, Dorset Mental Health Forum

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Terry Bowyer, Peer support worker, Dorset Mental Health Forum

Will the introduction of more peer support workers save the NHS money?

Dr. Julie Repper, Recovery Lead at Nottingham Healthcare Trust


Are peer workers appropriate in a forensic setting?

Anne Beales, Director of Service-User Involvement at Together

What skills are needed for peer support training?

Dr. Julie Repper, Recovery Lead at Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust

Who benefits most from co-produced and co-delivered training?

Waldo Roeg, Peer trainer,  Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust

How can we share our knowledge about 'what works' in peer support?

Dominic Makuvachuma-Walker, Engagement manager at Mind

Last updated 09/04/2018