Peer Support in Mental Health and Learning Disability (Mental Health Foundation)

[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 3 Issue 2, September 2012].


The “Peer support in mental health and learning disability” report provides an overview of peer support in mental health (including dementia) and learning disabilities, based on recent literature. This briefing paper highlights the main benefits of peer support and presents the Mental Health Foundation’s other work in this area.

Peer support is proposed as being an important component in helping people to recover, to achieve greater control over their condition, and to lead more fulfilling lives in the community. The various benefits of peer support include:

  1. Better mental health.
  2. Higher sense of wellbeing.
  3. Increasing confidence and learning skills.

Full Text Link


Mental Health Foundation (2012). Peer support in mental health and learning disability. London: Mental Health Foundation, August 2012.

About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
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1 Response to Peer Support in Mental Health and Learning Disability (Mental Health Foundation)

  1. eric forbes says:


    I believe I was the first person in the uk to be a peer support worker (trial) for someone with mental health issues (with Health in Mind, Shandwick Place, Edinburgh). As such the person I supported and myself were interviewed on ‘Health Matters’ for BBC Radio Scotland a few years ago. This was considered a great success!
    I have Bi-polar affective disorder and am now in a position where this disorder is now well controlled by relatively recent changes to my medication.
    With my training in the past and unique experience I believe I have a great amount to give people with mental health issues.
    Trying to find employment leaves me thinking that organisations still have a problem employing someone with past mental health issues or/and feel threatened by my understanding and experience which they will probably never have.
    I don’t hide the fact of my ‘tag’ – how else to remove stigma? Maybe that’s part of my downfall in the job market.
    I qualified RNMH and recently completed a NU – Mental Health issues. I have personal experience of psychosis, neurosis, bi-polar disorder, homelessness, bankruptcy, self harm, Advocard training (advocacy), Health in Mind training (befriending), peer support (for someone who spent 8yrs in Carstairs State Hospital), community carer and personal carer to someone with physical problems (direct support) and carer to my mother (having dementia prior to her death) and father until his recent death.
    I have sent in applications for care work and either had no reply, told that ‘after careful consideration….’ or as yesterday where I did get an interview (I finally thought someone had recognised my skills and experience) was told that another candidate had more relevant experience.
    Do you know of any organisation that would view me as someone who would be of value to the care of elderly or people with mental health issues? Or is there some way of advertising myself as self-employed?
    Any advice or direction would be most welcome.


    Eric Forbes

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