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LPT to recruit mental health peer support workers

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) is looking to recruit people with experience of mental health issues as dedicated peer support staff for service users.

This new role is just one of the improvements LPT is looking to introduce as part of its current transformation of mental health and learning disability services.

The peer support workers will be able to use their personal experiences of mental health issues and services to bring hope to current service users and empower them to feel confident to work towards recovery and live independently where possible.

There will be one peer support worker recruited for each community mental health team towards the end of autumn 2019, as well as further roles recruited to work in other LPT mental health services.

LPT will be recruiting people to the first cohort of training in June this year. It will be free to those who express an interest and meet the criteria though places are limited.

More information about what a peer support worker is, the training required and how to register your interest, is below.

To read the full media release click here.

Expression of Interest (EOI) forms

Anyone interested in applying for the training is asked to fill out this Expression of Interest (EOI) form. 

Completed EOI forms should be emailed to Community Development Leader Teresa Spilsbury via Teresa.Spilsbury@leicspart.nhs.uk or posted to Teresa at Wakerley Ward, Evington Centre, Leicester General Site, Gwendolen Road, Leicester, LE5 4QG by Monday 13 May 2019.

All received EOI forms will be responded to.

Drop in sessions - come and find out more in May

LPT is also hosting two drop-in sessions for anyone wanting to learn more about the soon to be advertised peer support worker roles and the free training on offer.

The drop-in sessions will take place at Wakerley Ward, Evington Centre, Leicester General Site, Gwendolen Road, Leicester, LE5 4QG at the following times:

1. Friday 3 May: 8.00am – 4.00pm

2. Tuesday 7th May: 8.00am – 12.00pm

What is a peer support worker?

A peer support worker is someone who has their own experience of mental health challenges and who usually has received support from secondary mental health services. Peer support workers have perspective and understand what it takes to recover and live well with mental health conditions.

This personal experience can help others on their recovery journey, through promoting hope and providing support based on common experiences. Peer workers are recruited because of their journey, experiences and their passion to support others.

A peer support worker is;

• Someone who is employed specifically as a result of their experience

• Someone with lived experience of mental health challenges

• Someone who has the ability to share their journey with others

• Someone who can motivate, inspire and encourage others

What qualities do you need to become a peer worker?

Peer workers need to be able to:

• Work with people collaboratively, allowing people to lead their own journey and make their own choices

• Inspire hope for a person receiving services and encourage them to believe in their potential and strengths

• Value individuality; accept people for who they are and where they are at

• Be free of judgement and assumptions about a person and their experiences

• Be committed to supporting people to improve their health and wellbeing

• Be able to recall and share their own mental health experiences to inspire recovery in the lives of others

The Training 

How do you train to be a peer worker?

People with experience of mental health issues who want to become peer workers must first go through a training programme before they can apply for a post within LPT. It includes attendance of the course, work experience and self-directed learning.

What do you need to access the peer support worker training course?

You must:

• Have experienced mental health challenges or have lived experience (via accessing secondary mental health services) including:

- A specialist referral from a GP

- Community mental health pathway/or community team

- Seeing a consultant psychiatrist

- Seeing a CPN or social worker (being seen by a specialist mental health worker)

• Demonstrate a clear understanding of peer support

• Be available to attend all the training days

• Have the ability and willingness to share personal lived experiences with others

• Be committed to actively participate in the training

• Be dedicated to promoting recovery opportunities in the lives of peers

• Want to work as a peer worker within LPT after the training

What is the process to be accepted onto the peer support worker training course?

You will need to:

• Contact the peer support coordinator to register your interest

• Attend a peer support worker information session (advised, not mandatory)

• Complete an expression of interest form

• Take part in a one-to-one informal interview (this is a chance to consider personal circumstances and situations)

If all criteria is met, you will be invited to attend the course.

What opportunities are there for someone after completion of the peer support worker training course?

Completion of the training could lead to:

• Paid employment in a peer support worker post within LPT

• Paid employment in other roles within LPT

• Paid employment with a partner organisation

• Volunteering; for example with the Recovery College

More information?

For more information about the drop-in sessions, training or becoming a Peer Support Worker at LPT contact LPT Community Development Leader Teresa Spilsbury via the email address above or call 0755 749 8007.

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