Welcome to your monthly update on peer work in Edinburgh
Read on to find out on what's happening in the Peer Collaborative and to get your news and information about peer work in Edinburgh.
The Peer Collaborative brings people together to discuss peer work, share information, learn together and improve mental health services in Edinburgh
Physically Distanced Service Updates Just because we need to be physically distant doesn't mean we need to be socially distant. Peer support groups and peer work services are doing their best to adapt to the physical distance measures that are currently in place. If you have any updates regarding your peer work project that you would like to be included in the next newsletter please get in touch - email@example.com
Zoom Peer Support Groups and Peer Spaces
Open to new members
The groups below are open to both current and new group members.
All of the groups below use the platform Zoom. If you are unable to make video calls it is possible to phone into Zoom groups. Please enquire about this with the individual group.
If you look after a peer space in Edinburgh and would like your group to be added below, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to join
4-6 or 7-9
Anxiety and Depression Peer Support Group (Health in Mind)
A friendly peer led support group. It is open to any adults affected by depression, low mood, stress or anxiety. It offers the opportunity for confidential local support, contact with others in a similar situation and the opportunity to explore positive ways of coping with depression.
The face to face versions of these groups are in the City Centre and Stockbridge.
If you need to phone in to the group please call us on 0131 225 8508 and leave a message including your name and contact number please state that you would like to attend the Edinburgh Anxiety and Depression group.
Equal Access (Health in Mind)
Online support sessions for people from ethnic minority backgrounds who may face additional cultural and language barriers to accessing mental health support. Focus is on stress management and coping skills.
Bipolar UK’s eCommunity is also available if you would like to access peer support.
Worried about attending a group on Zoom? Frankie, who is one of group members of the Health in Mind Anxiety and Depression Peer Support Group has these words of encouragement for you.
For those of us with mental health challenges there is an extra layer of complexity. Many of the measures we take to regulate our mental health seem suddenly unavailable to us all at a time of increased anxiety and uncertainty.
But lots of mental health specific groups and classes are taking to the Internet. On Monday I attended Health in Mind’s Depression and Anxiety Support Group via Zoom. I usually attend the group in person so how would it translate online?
It’s good news! When I logged on to the app and saw the faces pop up on my screen I instantly felt warm and connected. I found that most of the benefits of the group translated to the online format. I felt understood, supported and valued and picked up several tips for maintaining my mental health while social distancing.
Do you regularly attend one of Health in Mind’s Peer Support groups but feel sceptical about making the move online? I would urge you to give it a go. It’s really simple to set up and my experience was really positive. After all, if it’s not for you, all you have lost is an hour. And we have all got hours to spare right now!
Never tried a peer support group before? What better time to give it a shot. Imagine connecting with people who already understand many of your worries about how Covid-19 will affect your mental health. Worried that everyone else will know each other? We were all new to peer support once, and the regular members all remember how nerve wracking our first time was. Please know that you will be welcomed. New members are what keep peer support settings fresh and dynamic. There is no pressure to speak, you can just listen. Plus, you’ll only be new once!
Worried that listening to others talk about their Covid-19 concerns might increase your own anxiety levels? When people find out that I attend a support group they often ask “doesn’t sitting in a room full of depressed people make you feel worse?” This couldn’t be further from the truth. I find being part of a group of people who genuinely understand and support me really uplifting. Yes, sometimes we cry, but we almost always laugh.
Give it a shot – hopefully I’ll see you there!
Update from Penumbra's Plan2Change and Self Harm Services
1:1 sessions with Peer Workers continues to be provided via phone, video calls, emails, texts using various technologies e.g. skype, face time, WhatsApp, GoTo, Zoom (mostly for groups), Jitsi, Google Duo, Discord amongst others.
All non 1:1 services are being resumed including -
Facilitated and Community Workshops (Including POWWOWS)
Group Work/Sessions (as per demand)
Parents/Carers Sessions (ESHP)
If you or somebody you support would like to access one of these services, they are continuing to accept referrals. Please contact -
Edinburgh Carers Council offers one-to-one peer support for unpaid/family carers of adults with mental health difficulties, dementia, learning disability, autism or acquired brain injury.
We also have a new online peer support group that has been set up through Facebook. The group’s goal is to provide a safe space for unpaid/family carers where they can share thoughts and experiences, coping strategies, look for advice and generally support one another. It's a private group at the moment to protect carers' confidentiality, but if a carer requests to join, all they need to do is to answer a couple of questions before being accepted. The name of the group is "Edinburgh Carers Council: Carers Peer Support Group" and can be found by entering in this name in the Facebook searchbox. It can also be found through ECC's main Facebook page under 'Groups'; https://www.facebook.com/edinburghcarerscouncil
How the support is offered
Currently the service is only over the telephone. Video chat may be arranged for those who prefer.
We also have the online Facebook group mentioned above!
How support is accessed / Contact details
Please email email@example.com for referrals, or if you have any questions about the peer support service. Can be a self-referral or from staff.
You can also phone us on 0131 322 8480. If you leave a message with your name and number, we'll get back in touch.
Side by Side The Power of Peer Support
We made a film! If you'd like to use this film and the mini films that sit alongside it on the youtube channel to illustrate peer support and peer work we are very happy for you do do so and it would be great if you could let us know if you are doing this and what the response was.
New Anxiety and Depression Peer Support Group! This fortnightly peer support group only got the chance to meet in person once but has now moved online! It is modelled on the city centre peer support groups that have already been meeting for quite sometime but is at a slightly earlier time.
Upcoming Peer Learning and Networking Opportunities
Where and When?
Description and Booking
22 April The Crannie
9 Cranston St, Edinburgh EH8 8BE - cancelled
Health in Mind
40 Shandwick Place
Weekly for 5 weeks
Peer Workers and Volunteers.
People who would like to move into a Peer Work role or learn more about using their own experience of Recovery in an intentional way to accompany other people through their journey.
5 Day Peer Work Course
Session 1 – Recovery
Session 2 – Peer support relationships
Session 3 – Social exclusion, inequalities, stigma and trauma
Session 4 – Power, strengths and sharing your story
Session 5 – Confidentiality, communication and celebrations
Course starting Wednesday 22 April has been cancelled. An online course will be offered in it's place. Details in the next newsletter or email firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire.
Course starting Thursday 2 July
Book on here This venue has stairs and may not be accessible to everybody - sorry
Following the course attendees will have the opportunity to complete a PDA in Mental Health Peer Support at SCQF level 7
PDA in Mental Health Peer Support at SCQF level 7
Following on from our 5 day Peer Work Course, you can now complete a Professional Development Award (PDA) in Mental Health Peer Support. The PDA recognises, develops and celebrates the skills of those currently working and volunteering in peer support roles and those wishing to get their first peer support role.
The course and PDA are both free to attend/complete and equips students with the knowledge, skills and values which are necessary to carry out this role with confidence.
Support is offered throughout the course and evidence of learning and its application to your practise is offered through written evidence.
Keep in touch and help spread the word!
We also have a Facebook page and Twitter account. You can find them if you click on the social media icons at the bottom of this email. Please like/follow and suggest to friends who you think have an interest in peer work.