Graduation Ceremony for first Peer Mentors in Mental Health

News item posted: 04 April 2014

On Tuesday 4th June, Andy James, Assistant Chief Executive at Turning Point, presented certificates to the first class of Peer Mentor graduates at Milestone in London.

Milestone is a 14 bed high support housing unit for people with enduring mental health issues which facilitates reintegration into the community. Turning Point's Peer Mentoring program was designed to enable service users to mentor others going through treatment, especially during the transition from hospital to the community.

Through the Peer Mentoring scheme, service users who have experience of the mental health system are trained to provide help and support to others going through treatment. Successful completion of the course leads to a nationally recognised qualification.

Chris Flounders, Peer Mentoring Projects Coordinator for Turning Point, who spoke about the impact of peer mentoring at the graduation, said;

"Every person who steps forward as a Peer Mentor, to attend the training and help others can be justifiably proud of their achievement. Many will have been on personal journeys of discovery and self realisation, for some it is the first time they have been able to use their unique skills to help others and for a few it's the one of the first steps into formal education, employment and sustainable independence."

Leon, one of the peer mentors who graduated on Tuesday said; "Peer mentoring means that I can put my past experiences to good use by helping and guiding people who are going through similar experiences to my own."

Another graduate said; "I've been in the same situation as a lot of the people I'm mentoring and so I feel I have something to offer and can help someone to manage their life more independently."