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Peer support in UK mental health services



Staff, Students, Alumni, Academics

The Centre for Mental Health Research presents our July seminar with Dr Steve Gillard, Reader in Social and Community Mental Health in the Population Health Research Institute at St George's, University of London. His current research focuses on the increasing role played by people with lived experience of mental health problems in producing the support that they make use of - the development of more distributed forms of mental health care - including the introduction of new Peer Worker roles into mental health services. His research is underpinned by standpoint epistemology and co-production approaches to research; working alongside researchers with lived experience to critique and strengthen, methodologically, the way in which we produce knowledge about mental health.


Peer support is increasingly being introduced into mental health services in the UK and beyond. Of course peer support itself is nothing new, and organised approaches to peer support have thrived in the mutual aid and survivor movement for decades. What is relatively new is the emergence of peer support in formal mental health services, both in the form of new ‘peer worker’ roles as an addition to the mental health workforce, and in the commissioning of the third sector to provide alternatives to community mental health services. The rationale for this recent ‘mainstreaming’ of peer support is often a curious blend of recovery rhetoric and austerity pragmatics, but the current evidence base struggles to wholly support either argument. Are we expecting peer support to be something it isn’t? And if so, are we persistently going about the evaluation of peer support in the wrong way? This seminar will consider recent studies in attempting to address the question of peer support in UK mental health services, why now and, if so, how?

Date:  Monday 3rd July 2017        

Time: 12:45 – 14:00

Room: MG26 (Myddelton Street Building)


Lunch will be provided from 12:45.  The seminar will commence at 13:00.

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12.45pm - 2.00pmMonday 3rd July 2017

MG26 Myddelton Street Building City, University of London 1 Myddelton Street London EC1R 1UW United Kingdom

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