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Peer Support!

Whenever someone says to me ‘Peer Support’ my body fills with fear over the dreaded reminders of all the failed attempts of such a program during my schooling years. Not once was I ever a participant, only a leader. I had no idea what I was doing or why. In fact, if I were to base my knowledge about peer support on my experience with these programs, I would have not one clue what it is all about.

 

 

But thankfully, life is full of peer support. From friends encouraging us not to give up on our dreams or reminding us that a task isn’t as impossible as it seems, all the way to PhD students helping out wee little honours students who were thrown in the deep end by their academic supervisors.

 

Enough with the education based examples. You see peer support in the workplace, in sport, even in learning a new activity. In fact, my role here at RO is peer moderator.

 

And now as I am talking to my housemate, it occurs to me, that even though I have written all this, there are still some people out there who don’t know what it all means.

 

Basically it is the sharing of knowledge and experiences by providing emotional, social or practical help to another person. It differs from other forms of support in that the person giving the support has gone through something similar, the ‘been there, done that’ complex, however, the relationship is one of equality.

 

 

As you guys know, we are all about peer support here at RO and as always, we are looking at ways in which we can improve our support to you guys. So we are wondering …

 

What do you like about the peer support that we give?

What don’t you like about the support we give?

What could we do more of?

What would the ideal peer support look like to you?


Looking forward to reading all the responses.


My entire life can be described in one sentence: It didn't go as planned and that's okay. ツ

Re: Peer Support!

Thanks @stonepixie for the most excellente blergh! I feel like my answers are going to be from a pretty unusual perspective. Oh well!

 

What do you like about the peer support that we give?

That there's a lot of it and that you folks support each other even when you're going through a tough time yourselves. There's a lot of research to suggest that supporting others is actually really good for your mental health, so I think it's cool that there's a place to help others and in turn help yourselves!

 

What don’t you like about the support we give?

I think we could do more to support people who choose to support others, because it's something that should be recognised and rewarded as the awesome thing that it is! There's also lots of peer-support skills that you can use to have the biggest impact on a person you're talking through stuff with, literally all of the support i have seen has shown that kind of skill. Except for those randoms who pop on and make like 3 posts telling everyone to just get better grrrr. 

What could we do more of?

More support, more recognition and actual training for anyone who wants to learn a bit more about mental health stuff.

 

What would the ideal peer support look like to you?

@j95 @redhead @Bay52VU @FootyFan26 @lokifish @N1ghtW1ng are all some pretty awesome examples of ideal peer-supporters

 

Re: Peer Support!


What do you like about the peer support that we give?

I like that everyone pitches in, even if they are having a rough time themselves, like there is always somebody there. Even when @Ben-RO and the Mods are doing their awesome work, there is always peer support to back it up as well, checking in and asking how you're going and sort of cheering you on a bit. I really like that people share their experiences with others, even though it can be so hard to do that. 

What don’t you like about the support we give?

Good question. I guess there can always be more and I like what Ben said about recognising those who offer great support.

 

What could we do more of? 

Maybe we could have a little more information and encouragment for those who want to offer peer support but aren't sure on where to start. I'm not sure how this would be implemented but let me think of something. 


What would the ideal peer support look like to you?
I'm not too sure on the context of this... like are we talking about the ideal reply to somebody or ideally what RO would be like if we got everything perfect in terms of peer support? @stonepixie

 

//You can stay afraid, or slit the throat of fear and be brave//

Re: Peer Support!

Saw I'd been tagged here and figured I'd have a go at answering Smiley Happy (P.S. @Ben-RO thanks for that compliment Smiley Happy)

 

What do you like about the peer support that we give?

That it's always timely, and as others have mentioned there'll often be multiple people who'll jump in and offer support - which is awesome as each person brings their own perspective to the table.

 

What don’t you like about the support we give?

I think we do a pretty awesome job so it's hard to think of negatives. Perhaps sometimes when everyone jumps in we tend to repeat what others have already said, which might be annoying to some, but it can also be seen as reinforcing important points.

 

What could we do more of?

I like the idea of more training for those who're interested. Also I think we really need to ensure those that're offering support aren't neglecting their own self-care in the process.

 

What would the ideal peer support look like to you?

Non-judgemental, acknowledges difficulty but focuses on building strengths and encourages the participation of others

 

 

 

 

______________________________________________________
No human being, however great or powerful, was ever so free as a fish

Re: Peer Support!


@j95 wrote:


What would the ideal peer support look like to you?
I'm not too sure on the context of this... like are we talking about the ideal reply to somebody or ideally what RO would be like if we got everything perfect in terms of peer support?

 


All of this, plus how we can better support members who provide support for others. Smiley Happy


My entire life can be described in one sentence: It didn't go as planned and that's okay. ツ

Re: Peer Support!

 @lokifishLove the sentence  "acknowledges difficulty but focuses on building strengths". Thats a great way of putting it

Re: Peer Support!

What do you like about the peer support that we give?

I like how the support comes from many different perspectives but is tailored toward the person based on what they have said. Its usually positive often practical and almost always really encouraging.

 

What don’t you like about the support we give?

Sometimes the structure can come off as a bit robotic, particularly if many people start with acknowledging and encouraging or something similar. Sometimes I find it refreshing when a user cuts straight to the point of what they think they can offer as a helpful suggestion, bit of advice or similar situation they have had and what they did.

 

What could we do more of?

Keep maintaining the awesome job that everyone is doing, and give more recognition and training to those who want to do more and learn more.

 

Maybe encouraging more moderators to do 'How to posts' that involve people. Such as 'How to give great peer support' and offer it framed as one person's personal perspective. As others chip in there might be lots for everyone to learn.

 

What would the ideal peer support look like to you?

-Similar to what @lokifish said: Acknoweldges difficulty, but focuses on strengths and what can, not what 'can't'.

-Someone who has some practical advice, but doesn't feel the need to give 'solution's', and can simply just be there to support and empathise or even share similar experience, if thats what is appropriate.

-Someone who who appreciates the individuality of each person

-SOMEONE WHO IS BEING THEMSELVES Smiley Happy 

 

Re: Peer Support!

Hi I'm new here and currently doing my work experience at reach out, I am not that familiar with peer support (I never participated in it at my school or anywhere for that matter), but I shall try and answer these questions to the best of my abilities.

1)What do you like about the peer support that we give?

Well from my experience so far everyone here is friendly and I like that they work to the best of their abilities to answer anyones questions on the forums or on any of their 3 websites, and that they try to get people involved in thinking positivley and getting beyond the problems that are so common amongst young people. You really try to be a friend and more than just someone replying over the internet, so in all I like the advice you give.

2)What dont you like about the support that we give?

From my point of view there is not really anything that I dont like, However from reading over some of the posts some are saying that the answers you give are a bit repetitive and therefore this could annoy the user. 

3)What could we do more of?

Maybe post more information of how to handle certain situations for example if a friends dealing with something how would one know it,  what should you do to help them, and what should you avoid doing when around them (how to not make the situation worse)

4)What would the ideal peer support look like to you?

... I guess the ideal peer support would be having someone there to answer you questions everytime you post with a non-judgemental attitude with advice that you could actually benifit from.

Re: Peer Support!

I'll try my best. It's almost 4:00am lol so don't mind the spelling errors and grammar errors and stuff sorry

 

 

What do you like about the peer support that we give?

 

Well I come here alot and readd through what you say to others and I like how you say it all.
Everything is so comforting and you can easily make a situation go from 100 back to 10 or something ig you know what I mean. You know how to chill people out is what i think im trying to say. Also you commit yourself to everything yaknow. like, whe someone writes something short, you reply with something long and helpful. And when it's something super long you try your best to rely like so.

 

What don’t you like about the support we give?

 

So far, nothing. Everything is very well done.

 

What could we do more of?

 

Well the only thing I've kinda noticed is that I don;\t think you've got enough staff tp help with some situatuons. but you're training up the bobs soon (lol) so I think thats getting resolved.

 

What would the ideal peer support look like to you?

 

um, someone whos commited to helping a person or group of and will do whatever it takes to help them with whatevrt issues they need with.

 

 

sorry if i ;eft some stuff out. lemme know if i did. Smiley Wink 

(4:04am now lol)

 

@stonepixie <3

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Re: Peer Support!

Hi everyone,

We are a bunch of university students who want to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. We believe the best way to do this is to start the conversation around mental health and in order to do that we need to help others understand how. We have created a website and pledge in hopes that by doing a little it can go a long way. We don't want anyone to be afraid to reach out to someone they care about because they fear they are saying the wrong thing or because they don't know how. Help us by taking the pledge to start the conversation on https://www.causes.com/campaigns/103252-start-the-conversation-around-mental-health/admin/actions and visit the website we have created http://toughtalkhealth.wixsite.com/toughtalk. We hope that we can get as much support as possible around this issue and bring awareness.