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Marissa Lambert, Rachael Matharoo, Emma Watson and Helen Oldknow
The purpose of this paper is to share the lessons learnt during the implementation of a Peer Support Worker (PSW) pilot project within Child and Adolescent Mental Health…
The purpose of this paper is to share the lessons learnt during the implementation of a Peer Support Worker (PSW) pilot project within Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). The project aimed to reduce the barriers experienced by young people and carers during the process of transition between child and Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS).
The paper combines reflections of staff, PSWs and trainers in order to share the lessons that may be taken from this project. This includes a rough guide for those hoping to employ PSWs to support transitions.
The PSWs provided the vehicle to support the process of transition by empowering young people and their carers to use their strengths to facilitate a hopeful and timely transition. Recommendations regarding support for peers, staff and the organisation during the process of training and employing peers are discussed.
The paper provides a purely reflective account of the pilot project. These reflections may provide guidance for others wishing to develop peer support positions within CAMHS so that an evidence base for the effectiveness of peer support within transitions may continue to grow.
Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust are the first NHS Trust in the UK to employ PSWs specifically to support transitions between CAMHS and AMHS. This paper builds on the work of Oldknow et al. (2014) to highlight the first attempts to use peer support to support transitions.