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Round two in peer support – personal reflections

Emma Watson (Peer Support Department, Highbury Hospital, Nottingham, UK)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 16 September 2013




In April 2011, Nottinghamshire NHS trust created ten substantive peer support worker (PSW) posts following from a pilot project the previous year. Having learnt some valuable lessons from the pilot project, taking on new roles in in-patient settings involved development and learning from everybody involved. The aim of this paper is to provide an insight into this experience from the perspective of the PSW themselves.


A personal narrative of the next stage of peer support is provided by a PSW employed by Nottingham NHS Trust. The learning journey, originally given as a presentation at Nottingham NHR Recovery demonstration day, is described in terms of the truths of peer support (PS).


The role of PSW requires constant questioning, facing dilemmas and challenging situations. The second year of PS was a time in which the PSWs met these dilemmas and found their own solutions. The process has not been entirely easy for PSWs, all of whom have had to face situations, care settings and people that demand an unwavering focus on recovery and a compassionate understanding of each other as a team. Although the year has delivered challenges to the PS team, the process of learning from these and growing as a team has been highly rewarding.


This is a unique personal reflection of the processes involved in developing a peer support relationship. This will be of interest to those planning to implement this process in the NHS or those who hope to work within a PS team.



This paper follows on from “One Year in Peer Support – personal reflections” (Watson, 2012) in edition 7.2 of this Journal. Two further papers in that edition (Repper and Watson 2012a, b) provide background to the peer support project in Nottingham, within which the author is employed.


Watson, E. (2013), "Round two in peer support – personal reflections", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 159-162.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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