Maintaining the Integrity of Peer Roles

Where I work, we try to avoid role hybridisation and clinical overlap

Consumer leadership

by Eileen McAtee

It was one of those times where I printed out something from the internet and added  it to my reading pile which I  proceeded to ignore for months.  Nearly a year later I finally read the paper and  next minute I was running around the office telling everyone “what she said!”

The paper was Sandy Watson’s keynote from the 2013 Peer Conference in Australia put on by the Centre of Excellence in Peer Support. Sandy Watson was among the first consumer workers employed by a public mental health service in Australia in 1993. Her paper demonstrates her experience and I think  articulates really clearly one of  the key emerging issues for the  peer workforce. Sandy calls it hybridisation and in particular the fact that often we don’t distinguish very clearly between consumer engagement and leadership and peer work:

‘…the mental health peer workforce has reached a new level of maturity, and now…

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