Publication - Strategy/plan

Perinatal mental health - peer support: action plan – 2020 to 2023

Published: 18 Mar 2021

The Peer Support in Perinatal Mental Health Action Plan is a follow up to Review of the evidence for Peer Support in Perinatal Mental Health Report which was published in October 2020.

Perinatal mental health - peer support: action plan – 2020 to 2023
2. Ensure Safety and Quality

2. Ensure Safety and Quality

For peer support services to be effective and safe for clients and peer supporters, robust and comprehensive training and regular supervision is essential. From recruitment, through training, supervision and supporting ongoing practice, processes should be tailored to the needs of peer supporters. This creates a safe working environment for peer supporters and ensures safety for clients, adequate care and due diligence.

Peer support work can be extremely rewarding for volunteers with peer experience. To be nurturing rather than draining for peer supporters, peers should be well prepared for their role and not be expected to achieve unrealistic outcomes. Peers should be supported and supervised, as they may experience guilt or worry associated with being unable to help or support clients, or anxiety when unsure of how to manage a situation. Specialised resources are available to support organisations who introduce peer support. Resources already exist to support all stages of peer support, from recruitment to ongoing training

2.1 Recommendation:

Specialised approaches to recruitment, robust and ongoing training, appropriate and timely clinical supervision and support for ongoing good practice are essential elements in ensuring quality and safety.

Peer supporters need robust support systems and additional flexibility in their roles to enable them to maintain their own recovery and wellbeing.

Existing evidence based and quality assured resources should be utilised when creating peer support services to ensure high quality practice from the start.

All peer support services should have their own policy around safe-guarding peer support workers, volunteers and service users.


We will ensure that the Perinatal Peer Support Scotland resource contains tools around:

  • monitoring support/evaluation
  • recruitment
  • guidance around support and supervision
  • examples of evidence based practice and validated resources
  • signposting for safeguarding and child protection policies