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Monique Williamson - The Critical Role of Peer Support

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Presentation by Monique Williamson, from MIFWA, The Critical Role of Peer Support. Presented at the Western Australian Mental Health Conference 2019.

Published in: Healthcare
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Monique Williamson - The Critical Role of Peer Support

  1. 1. THE CRITICAL ROLE OF PEER SUPPORT, THE VALUE LORIKEET OFFERS THE COMMUNITY AND A STRONG APPETITE FOR CHANGE Monique Williamson 2019
  2. 2. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We would like to acknowledge that this meeting is being held on Aboriginal land and recognise the strength, resilience and capacity of Noongar people in this land. We would like to acknowledge those with lived experience of mental distress and impacted families and friends.
  3. 3. OUR PREMISE Our mental health system, for many people who experience mental distress, is under significant strain. The current experience of the system, for many people, does not expediate personal recovery. If we built a system that nurtured each person's potential, acknowledged their unique capacity and humanity, it would be very different to what we have today.
  4. 4. UNDERPINNING ASSUMPTIONS Mental distress is part of the human experience Personal recovery is possible for all Peer support is unique and often powerful – both paid peer roles and informal peer support The way forward to a responsive mental health system is to listen deeply to those most impacted by the current system -trust that people will lead us to find better solutions Social connection is a foundation of our wellbeing, much of our current responses to mental distress reinforces disconnection and isolates
  5. 5. WAY FORWARD Investment in community support – keeping people well, at home and connected to people and community Models of peer support underpinning much of our system Courage to explore some of the most challenging experiences – learning from and listening to those most marginalised (where our current system is failing)
  6. 6. LORIKEET CENTRE – 25 YEARS ON ‘It gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning’ – Lorikeet Member
  7. 7. THE POSITIVES Offers a bridge to ordinary life and community A safe space to connect people – peer support Keeps people active, contributing and learning Creates a safe space – non- judgmental, OK not to be OK, mutual support and tolerance (with personal obligations)
  8. 8. THE TENSIONS Safe space we create can become too comfortable – finding a balance of challenge Judged as not contemporary Not for everyone Risk of keeping people stuck – too safe Limited resources to support people with focussed community connections
  9. 9. WHAT WE KNOW WORKS Seeing people – mutual respect, acknowledging potential, struggle and resilience Opportunities to engage - ordinary activities and opportunities to participate and contribute Shared decision making –talking together, listening, learning and improving Collaboration - working through challenges together, identifying priorities together, creating opportunities for contribution Right relationships – mutual responsibility, standing alongside, genuine interest in people, and high expectations
  10. 10. MIFWA OTHER PEER PROGRAM Parent Peer Program Wellways Peer Education Programs My Recovery Wellways to Work Building a Future Peer2Peer Hospital to Home
  11. 11. WHY DOES PEER SUPPORT WORK? The value of peer work A peer's perspective!

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