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Peer support: Leeds Mind

What is it that you do?

Leeds Mind has two full time Peer Recovery Workers who are based at the Recovery Centre, which is part of Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust (LYPFT) Rehab and Recovery service. They are part of a multidisciplinary team that provides both in reach into the on-site inpatient wards and outreach to service users that have been discharged into the community. The Peer Recovery workers work alongside workers from 2 other voluntary sector organisations and staff from LYPFT. The partnership working within the team and its approach aims to provide a diverse and holistic approach to people’s care with a culture that’s strongly grounded in recovery principles and ways of working.

What are you aiming to achieve?

We are aiming to create a peer support pathway that supports people to move from being passive recipients of services to being active participants in giving and receiving mutual support. Our longer-term aim is that some people who are further on in their recovery will come back into the service to co-facilitate peer support groups and role model what is possible for people who are still in the earlier stages. We offer both one to one and group based peer support which helps people to develop skills to better manage their mental health.

How is it commissioned and organised?

The service is commissioned by Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust and is a partnership of LYPFT, Leeds Mind, Community Links and Touchstone. The service was redesigned to include the joining together of 3 separate R&R units to create a service that works towards supporting the client group to live as independently as possible and empowering people to be experts in their own recovery.

What is it about how you work that makes it good?

The peer support workers work closely with Care Coordinators to provide both one to one and group based peer support to people whilst they are staying on the wards and for up to 6 months in the community. Their role promotes community engagement, builds hope and resilience and promotes recovery, with a view to hopefully preventing further hospital admission. The peer-led group work also enables people to progress from attending as group members to becoming trained co-facilitators of groups.

What impact is it having?

Attendance at the ward-based groups has been good and group members are keen to be involved in the design of session content and in learning facilitation skills which will help them to deliver the groups.

What have you learned that you can pass on?

A good understanding of the peer support model alongside effective, open and honest partnership working has been essential for the success of this project.

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