Sunday, 14 April 2024
Sunday, 14 April 2024

Minister for Mental Health joins national celebration of peer support

MAREE Todd, Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport joined a national event to celebrate the positive impact of peer support on mental health recovery.

Hosted by the Scottish Recovery Network, The Future is Peer event brought mental health groups, organisations and services together this week to celebrate and champion the role of peer support across Scotland’s mental health system.

Participants at The Future is Peer event, which took place on 28 February in Glasgow, took part in workshops and heard about different examples of peer support in action. From community-based projects and regional networks to collaboration with GP surgeries and innovation around embedding paid and voluntary peer support roles in services. The event provided a chance to see what’s out there making a positive difference to people’s mental health but also to explore what needs to be done to build on and sustain these initiatives.

Maree Todd, Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport attended the event and spoke about the value of peer support for people’s mental health recovery. She highlighted the importance of its inclusion across a range of Scottish Government strategies such as the recently published Mental Health and Wellbeing Delivery Plan, the Scottish Government and COSLA Suicide Prevention Strategy and Action Plan – Creating Hope Together – and the Perinatal Mental Health – Peer Support Action Plan.

On being part of the event the Minister said:

“I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in The Future is Peer event highlighting the prominent role of peer support in mental health recovery.

“It is encouraging to see so many people and organisations coming together to celebrate the power of peer support. We know the valuable benefits that peer support brings in mental health and it is important that we continue to develop and highlight this work.”

During the event, the Minister also officially launched the new Peer Recovery Hub. Developed by the Scottish Recovery Network this new online resource is full of free tools, ideas and learning from people planning and delivering peer support, to help others to do the same.

Amanda of Womens Wellbeing Club was one of a series of organisations running workshops at the event. Talking about the Club she commented:

“I love knowing we are all making a difference to the mental wellbeing of women, of all ages. Providing a healthy inclusive space to allow women to come together and support one another without fear of judgment or scrutiny. Being able to chat, laugh, be vulnerable and open whilst never feeling shame or embarrassment is amazing.

For us, peer support is needing to tune in to each other. We need to care way before a person is in crisis. Because this is what peer support is, it’s offering that space and support.”

Louise Christie, Director at Scottish Recovery Network commented:

“We’re pulling out all the stops to support and showcase all the fantastic peer support activity happening in Scotland. Connecting with others with similar experiences provides a place where people can share, be listened to and heard. It helps people to see that they are not alone.

“This mutual sharing is powerful in that we can be supported while also supporting others on their journey. Peer support can contribute to making sure people receive help at the earliest opportunity. It can ensure the right support is there for people and their families at the right time.

This event celebrates peer support already happening while providing space to explore the challenges of bringing peer support to more people and places.”

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