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
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
Each month we focus on one peer work service in Edinburgh. This month one of the members of the Health in Mind Anxiety & Depression Peer Support Group was kind enough to write a little about what she gets out of attending the group.
"I came to my first anxiety and depression peer support session as a 'dare' to myself. I was acutely suicidal and I dared myself to try one last thing before killing myself. I chose this group and I’m so glad I did.
I have now been attending the group regularly for 18 months. It has become an invaluable space in which I can reveal my deepest pain and darkest thoughts and be met with understanding, warmth and a wealth of shared experience. Speaking and listening at the group has given me the vocabulary I need to understand and describe my experiences. Outside of the group this means that I am better equipped to help friends, family and medical professionals understand my mental health difficulties. Hearing others describe symptoms and experiences similar to my own is profoundly validating. In addition, the other participants frequently offer creative ideas and solutions to the problems I bring to the group.
Sometimes I get asked “doesn’t being in a room full of depressed people talking about their problems drag you down?” My answer is an unequivocal “no!” Quite the opposite in fact: I find attending the group genuinely uplifting. Shared experience allows us to laugh about things we would scarcely talk about outside of the group. I cannot thank Health in Mind and the volunteer facilitators enough for their time and the dedication they show to constantly adapting and improving the group."
The Health in Mind Anxiety and Depression Peer Support Group meets weekly in Edinburgh City Centre. Upcoming dates and venues for this group can be found further on in this newsletter.
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 can be offered either through written or spoken evidence. You can book onto an introductory session which is being held on 11 July here.
The Future is Peer: Creative Strategies for Peer Leadership
Tuesday 18 June
Hosted by Scottish Recovery Network, LEARN and The Peer Collaborative
We were very lucky to have the opportunity to help host Sasha Altman DuBrul during his first visit to Scotland. Sasha discussed his own story (which you can hear for yourself via hisTed Talk) and how this led on to becoming one of the founders of The Icarus Project, a support network/education project. He has also been involved in developing T-MAPS(Transformative Mutual Aid Practices), a tool to help people navigate difficult times and identify and communicate what is important to them.
Some of the key points from the day that stuck with me were -
That peer workers are not alone - peers are part of a larger movement.
We are creatures of meaning and we can choose how we see ourselves. We can push the boundaries of language and flip around labels to make them helpful for and meaningful for us.
It can be challenging being a Peer Worker in a non Peer Led organisation. It is important that the organisation understands Peer Work, provides a clearly defined role and provides appropriate support and supervision. Organisations should be prepared and supportive of peer workers shifting the culture in the organisation - this is a part of the role.
I'd love to hear what stuck out for others who attended. Sascha was kind enough to offer to email through the presentation slides so please get in touch if you would like to have those passed on once we have them.
Upcoming Peer Learning and Networking Opportunities
When and where?
Who is this for?
Description and booking
Tuesday 9 July
9.30 – 12.30
Edinburgh Methodist Church
25 Nicolson Square
This event is for peer workers, peer volunteers and other mental health professionals, volunteers and members of the public to get together in order to shape and support peer work in Edinburgh.
Rayya Ghul will introduce the solution focused approach to conversations that create change and talk about the work of Take Off, a peer led organisation based in Kent.
Thursday 11th July
Edinburgh Methodist Church
Friday 26 July
Tuesday 17 September
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 – Introductory Session
This is an introductory session for the 5 session course for people who would like to develop their Peer Work practice.
You can book yourself on here.
Following the course attendees will have the opportunity to complete a PDA in Mental Health Peer Support at SCQF level 7
Keep in touch and help spread the word!
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