Over the past six months, Wellways peer workers have been taking part in five days of core training on intentional peer support (IPS). IPS was founded by Shery Mead in America and is now practised across the world in community, peer support and human services settings. IPS practice differs from more traditional models, focusing on establishing strong peer relationships through building trust, mutuality and connectedness. It is about learning through the sharing of experiences, to inspire recovery.

Shery Mead notes: “As peer support in mental health proliferates, we must be mindful of our intention: social change. It is not about developing more effective services, but rather about creating dialogues that have influence on all of our understandings, conversations and relationships.”

As part of adopting this practice, IPS trainers from America accredited two experienced Wellways peers, Daisy Gleeson and Brendon Clarke, to deliver the training to Wellways peer workers. More than 50 peer workers from across Tasmania, Victoria, Tasmania and ACT have now been trained. These peer workers will utilise the IPS practice in their peer roles across a range of Wellways services including Prevention and Recovery Care Centres (PARCs), Partners in Recovery (PIR), Personal Helpers and Mentors Service (PHaMs), Family Services, Adult and Youth Residential Services, Recovery and Rehabilitation Services and Youth Services.

The Wellways Lived Experience Workforce Framework has also been updated to reflect the embedding of IPS across our services. This month, General and Regional Managers are participating in IPS training and planning for current and future peer work initiatives. Find out more about Intentional Peer Support.