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
4. Respect the Unique Value Peer Work

4. Respect the Unique Value Peer Work

The recently developed Principles of Perinatal Peer Support (Maternal Mental Health Alliance et al., 2019) advocate that the unique contribution of peer support is maintained as distinct from other therapeutic or clinical roles. Research evidence also suggests that peer support is most effective when peers use their uniquely valuable experience in a way which does not try to replicate the role of clinical staff by offering advice, training or therapeutic treatment. Peer support is most effective when clear role boundaries are put in place for peers and those people they support. Clearly defined role boundaries allow the peer supporter to feel secure in what is expected of them and enable other staff and clients to know what to expect, reducing uncertainty.

4.1 Recommendation:

Peer support services should recognise and celebrate the benefits of peer experience and peer workers or peer volunteers should not replace clinical staff or be asked to do their work.

Action:

We will create an annual peer support event recognising the contribution of peer supporters. This event will seek to showcase good practice and highlight the role of peer support in relation to how it can support and complement clinical work. We will also work with the Perinatal Mental Health Managed Clinical Network and Inspiring Scotland to raise awareness of the peer support role.

4.2 Recommendation:

Peer support worker and volunteer roles should provide clear boundaries of the role for peers, the people they support and the wider team. Consideration should be given to variation across peer support roles.

Action:

We will work with the Perinatal Mental Health Managed Clinical Network to develop role definitions for peer support roles in different settings.


Contact

Email: PIMH@gov.scot