What is a Peer Support Worker?
A Peer Support Worker is someone with lived experience of mental health challenges who is employed to use their skills, compassion and knowledge to support other people and their families within our services.
Peer Support Workers might be based on wards, community teams or in rehab services. We also have Peers in more specialist roles, such as our Forensic and Perinatal services.
What they do
Although the roles will slightly differ depending on the team they work in, the main focus of the Peer Support Worker is to build relationships with the people they work with using common experience, learning together and helping people to identify strengths, skills and new perspectives.
Peer Support Workers are not clinical roles, but they work within Multi-Disciplinary Teams alongside other staff (e.g. doctors, nurses, OTs, psychologists). Peer Support Workers don’t provide treatment or diagnosis.
How they work
The Peer Support Worker role is based on the foundations of mutuality, reciprocity and working alongside someone.
Peer Support Workers take a non-directive approach which means that they will support the person they are working with to identify what they’d like to achieve during their time together.
There is no hierarchy within a Peer Support relationship; it is about being alongside someone in their recovery and working together in an empowering way.
How they help
Peer Support Workers are there to hold hope and help people to identify opportunities and strategies to move forwards in their own recovery, providing a space for people to feel accepted and understood.
As an example of some of the work they do, a Peer Support Worker might provide one-to-one or group sessions around confidence building or goal setting; or support someone to attend an activity such as a music group, a mindfulness session, or attending a local Recovery College.
Peer Support Workers can also be there to provide a safe, non-judgemental space to just sit and listen to someone if they want to talk.
Peer Support Workers can also signpost to other helpful resources, opportunities and activities within the Trust or community that might be useful.
Apply and train
Peer Support Worker vacancies
Do you have lived experience of mental health problems, or cared for someone who has and want to use your experience to support other people facing similar challenges?
Would you like to gain a Level 3 Apprenticeship qualification along the way?
Are you looking for a career opportunity and are enthusiastic about caring and supporting people?
If you’ve answered ‘yes’, then our Peer Support Worker jobs could be the role for you!
To read about our Peer Support roles and to apply, visit our careers website:
How to apply
If you are interested in becoming a Peer Support Worker, we regularly advertise on NHS jobs.
You will have to apply for the role first, in order to access the training.
Lived experience of mental health challenge is essential for this role, or maybe you have cared for someone who has gone through something similar.
We’re looking for people who are compassionate, can work well in a team, highly motivated and have excellent written and verbal communication skills.
You will be provided with training for the role and given the opportunity to complete a Peer Worker Apprenticeship at Level 3.
Non-urgent advice: Receive peer support
If you are currently receiving services from Oxford Health and feel you would benefit from a Peer Support Worker, ask your key worker if this is available within your area of care support.
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Page last reviewed: 6 December, 2023