PeerTalk groups support people who live with depression, anxiety and similar conditions. Trained volunteer facilitators enable those who attend the groups to share with each other support, encouragement and coping skills.
The groups have a proven structure that provides a safe confidential space that allows attendees to share their thoughts and emotions in a non-clinical and non-judgemental place.
PeerTalk is appealing for support to realise their vision of establishing a national network of 100 groups within ten years. PeerTalk currently host twelve groups including one for those aged 18 – 30s based on campus in collaboration with the University of Central Lancashire.
PeerTalk groups are located in:
Batley (West Yorkshire)
Bradford (West Yorkshire)
Preston x 2 (Lancashire)
Skipton (North Yorkshire)
Settle (North Yorkshire)
University of Central Lancashire (18—30s)
Whitley Bay (Tyneside)
Typically each group will support up to twenty individuals in a year.
PeerTalk has trained 167 volunteer group facilitators of which 107 are currently active. Our next Volunteer Training Day is on Saturday 28th March 2020 in Sunderland.
PeerTalk has a professionally qualified team of trustees that ensure organisational stability.
The PeerTalk model practised is based on the Irish charity Aware which has been successful for over 30 years.
Quality training and support of volunteer facilitators
Professional clinicians provide an overview of various mental health presentations and the volunteers are equipped with listening and facilitation skills.
Safeguarding is vital for attendees and volunteers
All volunteers are checked and trained and safeguarding policies are rigorously applied.
Clarity of vision and determination to make it happen
Supported by The Methodist Church, The Tudor Trust, The Allen Lane Foundation, The Scurrah Wainright Foundation, Zurich Insurance and others, PeerTalk is passionate about supporting those struggling with poor mental health.
PeerTalk Trustee, Kate Chartres, is a Consultant Nurse with Newcastle Psychiatric Liaison Team within the Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and the Network Clinical Lead for NHS-England.
‘I have been involved with PeerTalk for around 2-3 years in one form or another, I first heard about the work that they do when asked to get involved in one of their induction days, where they aim to show people the great work they do. I was wowed by their pragmatic approach to providing an alternative to standard mental health services for people struggling with their mood. As a Nurse Consultant with many years of experience I know how much mental health services both struggle to meet demand and to offer what feels like a safe and comfortable place for people, whom might feel uncomfortable about accessing mental health services due to stigma etc. They provide a supportive and comforting service to anyone who attends’.
Evaluation question - ‘What is your experience of the group’?
‘Very positive. I have been going to the group for the past 6 months and it has improved my mental health a lot. It has provided me with structure and support. I feel less isolated and can relate to other group members well. Unlike many mental health groups they treat us like intelligent people as well as being non-judgmental and supportive’.
‘Since coming to the group I have truly begun to understand the power of peer support. Having the opportunity to share and listen to other people’s experiences and realise that I am not alone takes a huge weight off my mind and this is really important’.
‘I have been to 3 sessions of the group so far and found it extremely helpful in getting me back on my feet and the support has been fantastic. The volunteers are exceptional, giving their time and always listening and encouraging is very pleasing. I would be lost without them and will continue to attend the sessions for as long as possible’.
‘Amazed by the levels of awareness of others in the group. When I do eventually start to feel better I feel I will be able to help others more – at the moment though tank is empty’.
Charity Reg: 1169830
Phone: 07908 493880
The PeerTalk Charity Office
High Park House, Wray, Lancaster LA2 8QU