In October Mind, the mental health charity is hosting PeerFest, an event to celebrate the value of peer support for people who experience mental health problems. The event will also launch the findings Mind’s research into peer support in England.
There has been lots of talk about just what the term “peer support” means. There is no wrong or right answer and it means different things to different people. Simply put it is people coming together to help each other, to talk through shared experiences. It can be as informal as a chat over coffee or logging onto an online community such as Mind’s Elefriends.
Peer support is also what happens when people come together on the telephone in one of Community Network’s Telephone Communities. People “meet up” on the phone to talk about common interests. They may all be carers, retired seafarers or share a faith. Many people in our Telephone Communities have restricted mobility or don’t have the confidence to join face to face groups near their homes. Others join groups so they can share their experiences and support others in similar situations. Telephone Communities offer an easy, accessible way for such people to come together to talk, laugh share and help each other.
Mind’s PeerFest event is on Friday 25th October 2013 at City of Birmingham’s Symphony Orchestra Centre. You can sign up for PeerFest or get more information here.