The HAIL Peer Support Initiative was set in motion in the latter part of 2016. HAIL tenants and clients applied to become involved in the Peer Support Initiative and were greatly involved in consultations and the development of a code of practice for the Peer Support volunteer.
The training course, facilitated by the Irish Advocacy Network, ran for eight weeks. The Peer Support volunteers have now completed their training and a graduation ceremony will take place in the coming weeks to celebrate their achievement. It is hoped that the Peer Initiative will become active in February.
Peer Support may be defined as the help and support that people with lived experience of a mental illness are able to give to one another.
It may be social, emotional or practical support but importantly this support is mutually offered and reciprocal, allowing peers to benefit from the support whether they are giving or receiving it.
Key elements of Peer Support in mental health include that it is built on shared personal experience and empathy, it focuses on an individual’s strengths not weaknesses, and works towards the individual’s wellbeing and recovery.
We would like to congratulate those who have completed the training and wish them every success in their new vital role within our organisation.