Some people can find it difficult to find ways of engaging, with the people that use their services, when they begin their role as a Peer Support Worker.
Therefore, the following page lists some ideas on how to get to know people who use inpatient services.
Offer morning meetings (see Getting Together on page 31) to the people who use your services. Within the meeting, you will be able to further offer 1:1s, inform people of what’s happening on and off the unit and be able to give the nursing/OT/HCA staff plenty of notice to prepare for any other daily requests made.
If your place of work has an activities board, use it to advertise your availability for 1:1s etc.
At the beginning of your shift, check in with people that use your services. You can let them know about any get togethers (morning/ community meetings), enquire about any other support people might require and generally get a feeling of how people are doing.
Set up small activities in communal areas – such as games, puzzles, crafts – to encourage people to engage with you. This can support building a peer support relationship and develop connections.
Get to know people’s likes and dislikes. This will support you to creatively think of opportunities, when certain situations arise, to engage with the people that use your services.
Promote peer support, and the work that you do, by designing and regularly updating notice boards. You might even decide to put up something about your own personal experiences of mental distress and recovery.