The experience of being a peer outreach volunteer: Benefits and challenges
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Peer outreach is an emerging form of non-professional consumer-delivered service in the context of psychiatric rehabilitation. This study identified the benefits and challenges of outreach provision as identified by a group of volunteer outreach workers. One on one semi-structured interviews were carried out with twelve members trained as peer outreach volunteers. Interview transcripts were analysed using a consensual qualitative research approach. Outreach workers typically experienced peer outreach as a positive experience both for themselves and for the recipients. Most found the training and support provided to be appropriate and sufficient. Nonetheless, peer outreach workers did encounter difficulties and sometimes felt need for more training and support. The findings have implications for the development of future peer outreach programs. There is scope for enhanced training and/or supervision and a need for further research to investigate ways to optimise peer outreach.
Australian e-Journal for the Advancement of Mental Health
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Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified