Southern Trust welcomes new mental health peer support workers

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Thursday, January 11th, 2018

For the first time in the Southern Trust, a team of Mental Health Peer Support Workers will be based on an acute inpatient ward. 

Peer support is the introduction of people who have lived experience of mental health difficulties into the mental health workforce.



It is a hugely significant step to ensuring services across Northern Ireland become more recovery-focused.

Ann Butler, Recovery College Co-ordinator said, “A recent survey showed that peer support in a Mental Health setting can help people make huge progress in their recovery. People who have lived experience of mental health can offer insight, empathy, and understanding while using their own experiences to help others.

“While every person facing mental health difficulties develops their own definition of recovery, it generally means the process in which people find ways to live meaningful lives, with or without the ongoing symptoms of their condition.



She added, “Many people find it difficult to talk about what they are going through, but with peer support workers being open about their experience helps create an immediate connection with service users.”

Bryce McMurray, Director of Mental Health said, “The Southern Trust is committed to supporting people with mental health conditions and the people who care for them.

“People with a lived experience of mental health and recovery play a lead role in developing our approach to peer support in Mental Health, focusing on an individual’s strengths not weaknesses, while working towards recovery.



“I would like to welcome the new team to the Southern Trust and wish them every success on their new adventure,” Bryce added.

For more information on Recovery College and upcoming events please visit


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