How your experience with mental ill-health can help others

If you have lived experience of mental ill-health and have used support services yourself, you could help others on their journey by volunteering as a peer supporter. Through sharing your knowledge, and what has helped you throughout your journey, you could inspire and give hope to others that recovery is possible. At Andover Mind we really believe in the value of lived experience and have peer supporters volunteering at all of our well-being centres.

Benefits of being a peer supporter

As well as the positive feelings and increased level of self-esteem associated with helping others, being a volunteer peer supporter can be a great first step into a career in mental health. We have many examples at Andover Mind of people who have done just that, going on to build successful careers within the organisation.

Peer supporters help with:

  • running self-help groups for service users and sharing experiences
  • gathering feedback on services via paper surveys, focus groups, community meetings or telephone surveys
  • providing support on a 1-1 basis for service users, helping them to access community groups or support services for the first time
  • encouraging service users to attend meetings involving other partners, e.g. Community Mental Health Teams, in-patient units, drug and alcohol services, etc.
  • supporting people to take part in service user involvement groups
  • training outside-organisations in mental health awareness, telling your own story to illustrate a journey through services and talking about what has and hasn’t worked for you

Get in touch

Take a look at our volunteer vacancies page to get involved or contact Lisa Langman on 01264 332297 or email: lisa.langman@andovermind.org.uk. You can also contact us via this form.

If you’re interested but unsure whether this is the right step for you, please call Barbara Allen on 01264 332297 for an informal chat, or email: advice@andovermind.org.uk.

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