Mental health illness support network for PWWP

Mental health illness support network for People working with people

Mental Health Peer Mentoring Project Report Released

on December 18, 2012

Mental Health Peer Mentoring Project Report Released

12 October 2011

The Mental Health Foundation has released a report on its ‘Brighter Futures’ project to support mental health in later life. The report highlights the benefits to both mentor and mentee of the project as well as noting the reduction in mental health problems for those involved.

The Brighter Futures project worked with older volunteers to deliver a peer mentoring service for isolated older people aimed at improving their wellbeing and quality of life through enhancing their social networks and enabling meaningful community engagement.

Some conclusions raised in the report include:

  • Having a peer every step of the way was one of the most valuable aspects of the project – peers were seen to act as positive role models and motivated them to take risks and try new things.
  • Many participants were able to move on from the project within a short timescale, however there were other participants that needed longer term support.
  • Some participants considered becoming volunteers themselves and felt that once they had regained their confidence, they too could ‘give something back’.
  • The mentor role was highly valued by volunteers who felt that they were contributing to society and taking on a new identity which helped to support them through difficult life transitions such as retirement.

The recommendations from the report included:

  • Services should be developed that focus on the needs of those most isolated within our communities.
  • Develop service models that provide support built on peer relationships, is goal orientated and solution focused and flexible enough to engage with people in their own homes.
  • Older people that require longer term support to remain socially connected should have access to home based services that are not time-limited such as befriending.
  • Greater opportunities should be developed to enable older people to ‘give something back’ and contribute positively to their communities. Volunteering opportunities should be developed that take account of the importance of having a socially valued role and should aim to enable older people to create new positive identities for themselves following retirement.

The full report can be downloaded below and for more information please visit the Mental Health Foundation website.

Further info:

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