05-12-2023 09:25 AM - edited 05-12-2023 09:28 AM
What is a peer worker?
A peer worker is a mental health professional that has lived experience of a mental health condition or has struggled in some way with their wellbeing. Their role is to create an empathetic and non-judgmental environment for young people and their carers to share what is going on for them, as well as offering their own insights and lessons they have learned from their own mental health journey. While we all have a story to tell, peer workers have been trained to share their experiences in a way that is safe and constructive for the person listening, and are able to offer support, resources and referrals for those who need a little extra help.
How could a peer worker benefit my teenager?
In contrast to other mental health professionals, lived experience is at the forefront of a peer worker's approach to supporting young people who are struggling. They have the capacity to share their own stories of struggle and recovery, which can reassure teens that they are not alone in what they're going through as well as offering a glimmer of hope that things can get better. Connecting with a peer worker can be a great source of comfort for a lot of young people who are feeling lonely and uncertain, and can form a fundamental part of their support network alongside family, friends, doctors, psychologists and counsellors. If peer work is new to you or you have questions about what it involves and how it might be useful for your teen, this is your chance to fire away! ReachOut's peer workers will be answering your top questions, so send through any and all of your queries using the form below so we can fill you in on everything you need to know about peer work.
Click here to ask your question.
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