Peer Support Programs

Developing Peer Supporters

Peer support programs benefit employees, organisations and the peer-supporters. 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 an effective 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.

FREE CONSULTATION

Contact us for a free consultation about your current or proposed Peer Support Program. 

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 peer support program includes:

  • Gaining leadership support, building a positive brand and communicating the benefits
  • Developing knowledge in proactively creating positive mental health culture in workplaces
  • Developing skills to intervene as early as possible by engaging with and working alongside individuals effected by mental health conditions to achieve optimal outcomes
  • Development of the selection protocol and induction process
  • Training workshops in the skills of peer support and mental health first aid
  • Clarifying what your peer supporter role ‘is’ and ‘is not’
  • Role modelling responsible, ethical and professional behaviour
  • Championing proactive mental health, resilience and wellbeing activities
  • Psychological First Aid tools – what to do and say when someone’s in crisis
  • Handling difficult conversations and behaviours
  • Managing boundaries, confidentiality and being neutral (not advocating)
  • Compassion, clear thinking and effective decision-making
  • Self-care and switching-off skills
  • Ongoing support and supervision process of the selected peer supporters
  • Annual check-ins and re-application for peer support roles
  • Governance, reporting and quality control mechanisms

Benefits Of Workplace Peer Support Training

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.

Peer support program at work with a Businesswoman discussing with colleague in office | Yes Psychology

Benefits for the Peer Supporter

  • Satisfaction
    Personal satisfaction gained from helping peers and being supportive, as part of a valued program.
  • Contribution
    Contributing to the greater good through important wellbeing initiatives that help the business.
  • Development
    Professional development and self-awareness through training, supervision and learning about human behaviour.

An effective program overcomes critical barriers

Trust

Employees don’t trust the confidentiality of Peer Supporters. Peer supporters do not have the skillset needed to be credible.

Direction

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.

Transparency

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.

Advocacy

Organisations whose leadership does not understand and express the value of peer support.

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