Peer Support Programs
Building mental health support capability
Peer supporters are carefully selected, trained and supervised coworkers, who can champion your workplace wellbeing initiatives, act as a ‘referral point’ and provide basic support and mental health first aid for peers. Peer support programs benefit employees, organisations and the peer-supporters.
Developing a team of peer supporters in your own workforce can build your organisation’s capacity to deliver mental health and wellbeing programs and preparedness for critical incidents.
We have specialised experience in the design, delivery and quality management of peer support programs, including how to overcome the barriers to good peer support.
We currently run and support a number of peer support programs, including frontline workers, covering regional and metropolitan areas. We design programs with governance and quality measures.
An effective and sustainable program includes:
Benefits for the Organisation
Peer support programs can help to reduce stigma and increase help seeking behaviour, which are critical to an early intervention approach to workforce wellbeing.
Supporting employee wellbeing
Peer Supporters know how to listen, be supportive and provide basic advice on how to get the right sort of help. Peer Supporters understand the work and the business, because they work there too.
Supporting early intervention
Peer Supporters are available and approachable to talk to, making it easier to reach out and intervene early in issues. Peer Supporters can help to reduce barriers to seeking help.
Supporting culture and wellbeing initiatives
Peer Supporters can support health and wellbeing initiatives through the professional development they receive. Peer Supporters contribute to a culture of support.
Benefits for the Peer Supporter
An effective program overcomes critical barriers
Employees don’t trust the confidentiality of Peer Supporters. Peer supporters do not have the skillset needed to be credible.
Peer supporters move around without focused goals can become diluted in their effectiveness because each follows their own preferences rather than achieving a common benefit.
Leadership are unclear of what peer supporters actually do within the scope of confidential duties, which makes them uncertain whether the resource is being effective.
Organisations whose leadership does not understand and express the value of peer support.