The Peerability Peer Coaching project (Peerability) is a service that is co-produced with mental health service users and provides valuable opportunities to increase service users social interaction, reduce isolation and build their confidence.
We established a partnership with Glasgow Association for Mental Health and were commissioned by the NHS to deliver the first Peerability project in Spring 2012. Over 40 service users took part in focus groups and then went on to form a project design group to inform the development of the project. We were amazed by the depth of skills and experiences the service users were able to bring. We were equally amazed at the lack of engagement they had had previously with statutory services.
Nine peer coaches initially underwent a full training programme and intensive preparation (encompassing a six stage coaching process) for the role to enable them to work with up to three ‘coachees’ at a time. Coaches are in receipt of a living wage for the work they carry out. Mentoring and support and supervision is provided by the Project Co-ordinator.
Peerability moves people forward at their own pace towards personal development and employment goals.
It is a service which is:
These components are all vital in the support of people with mental health problems in moving them into sustainable work.
In the last year, people taking part in Peerability have moved into jobs such as development worker, retail assistant, Administrator and Financial Services assistant.
“It was a great opportunity to focus on what was important to me… There was no pressure so I felt I was being more honest with myself”. Iain
“A thoroughly enjoyable experience which helped to anchor me through a difficult period”. Derek
“Peer coaching is a very good 1:1 scheme. It is there for you to meet your needs and goals”. Mark
“I have begun to think differently about doing tasks”. Sharon
“I believe everyone can benefit from peer coaching”. Mary