These ideas are part of the working ethic of peer support and lived experience we have at The Vision Project. People are often able to empathise with each other on a wide variety of problems or issues because they have experience of it themselves. If you are interested in being involved in any way, feel free to get in touch with us via the About Us page!
What Is Peer Support?
In this video from the Canadian Mental Health Association, some aspects and benefits of peer support are explained by those utilising and practicing it. The principles of peer support are also core values of The Vision Project.
There are various definitions, but generally speaking it involves those who have lived experience of an issue, helping those currently going through similar problems.
The current scientific evidence-base shows that peer support seems to have some potential in mental health recovery and in other areas, but that more research is needed. Some NHS Trusts currently use or are slowly beginning to use the benefits of lived experience, but it is still an area that needs more investigation and so its potential may not have been realised yet.
As was pointed out by The Mental Elf, funding peer support programmes is difficult to justify without a strong evidence base – but at the same time, building an evidence base is extremely difficult without there being peer support initiatives to research. As with all of the medicines and interventions we rely on today, support work involving lived experience needs a chance to prove itself one way or the other.