An eFriend Peer is a ‘Peer Support Worker’ – which is someone employed on the basis of their personal lived experience of struggling with their mental health and navigating recovery.
This lived experience is an essential qualification for their job, in addition to other skills and experience required for the Peer role. This includes training in Trauma Informed Care, Suicide Awareness and Prevention, Intentional Peer Support and Safe Storytelling.
Peer support can have a positive impact in a number of ways:
- It can help people take control of their health and wellbeing including helping people to find new coping strategies, feel accepted and self-manage their condition
- It can improve social and psychological wellbeing. This can include helping people to have the confidence and motivation to work in partnership with their health care provider. Peer workers also offer hope, as they share how it is possible to over come difficulties and are living proof of what can be achieved.
- It can improve knowledge and health literacy. It can help people develop problem solving, decision making, coping and stress management skills.
- It can increase access to services as peers offer practice advice, support and encouragement that increases access to services
A recent evaluation of conducted by the Black Dog Institute found that the eFriend had a positive outcome for participants.
85% of participants reported that they felt significantly more hopeful and optimistic
79% of participants reported feeling more confident
And 70% of paticipants were feeling more empowered