By the same authors

Evaluation of the Peer Support Scheme in Southwark

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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Publication details

DatePublished - 2013
Number of pages41
PublisherKing's College London/University of York
Place of PublicationLondon/York
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Background: The Peer Support Service in Southwark was set up in 2009 to help individuals through discharge from the Crisis Services. The service trains and matches peer support volunteers to individuals to provide up to nine months of weekly peer support.
Aims: This evaluation aimed to examine the impact that the Peer Support Service has had on the key outcome domains of isolation/exclusion, relapse, personal and professional development, selfesteem, and addressing the gap in service user led services within the borough.
Method: A mixed methods design was implemented. Entrance and exit questionnaires were administered to individuals in the peer support service to assess change over time on the key outcome domains. Staff at the referral team were given a questionnaire to assess attitudes towards service user involvement. Additionally a focus group with four individuals who were currently in peer support was conducted to give a qualitative depth to the study.
Results: Individuals showed improvements in outcomes measures across the board, although despite generally positive attitudes to their experiences of peer support, few intended to return as peer supporters themselves. However, only a very small number of respondents filled out questionnaires, therefore it is impossible to analyse differences statistically between entrance and exit to the service.
Conclusions: The extremely small sample size makes it difficult to draw firm conclusions from the data. Further data must be collected before any effects of the peer support service can be shown. The researcher has put these mechanisms in place within the peer support service to allow them to continue with this into the future.

    Research areas

  • mental health, support services

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