Richard's March Blog

Friday, 22 March 2013

We’re just making appointments to a brand new Peer Support service in Southampton. This is a really exciting development for all of us who believe that, while conventional services merely treat, Peer Support also has the power to inspire. I was talking with an old friend the other day about having lived experience and choosing to work in mental health services, which she’s tempted to explore as her PhD thesis, the critical question being: does Peer Support really get people better? Actually the evidence has been amassing across health services for years. Peer Support helps people with everything from with heart disease to Type 2 diabetes, and we’re now getting good evidence that it works in mental health too, with conditions ranging from depression to schizophrenia.

Being appreciated always gives you a bit of a lift, especially when it’s by someone who knows what they’re talking about. In this case one of our regulators was so impressed by what he’d seen and heard, he said he’d be hard pressed not to make his report sound like an advert. Of course regulators’ reports err on the formulaic side, so it will be fascinating to read how "positive, caring and supportive" comes out in the translation.