Mental health peer support scheme for young people launched

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A peer support scheme has been launched to help young people move on to using adult mental health services

The scheme provides peer support workers to enhance the transition process for young people when moving from children and young people’s mental health services (CAMHS) to adult mental health.

Run by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH), the scheme is the UK’s first in a CAMHS service; other Trusts have offered similar opportunities in adult services.

There are three peer support workers, one each in Rotherham, Doncaster and Scunthorpe. The successful applicants are former service users and will also be involved in some of the service user participation work run by the Trust.

Clinical lead/ senior CAMHS practitioner Sharon Jeffreys said: “We are hoping that the peer support workers will not only act as positive role models for the service users, but also that, as they have had first hand experience of accessing mental health services, they will be able to empathise with and reassure young people, and promote the fact that that people can and do recover from mental health problems.

“As health professionals it gives us the opportunity to further enhance our service provision to meet the needs of the young people. We also hope that this role can further reduce the stigma that is still unfortunately associated with mental health problems.”