Mental health patients to get extra support

The first peer support workers at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

The first peer support workers at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust - Credit: Archant

The first group of peer-support workers at a NHS trust have begun their duties in Norfolk to help patients recovering from mental-health problems.

Eleven new staff at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust completed training at Hellesdon Hospital in June and a further seven, based at the West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, are set to finish in mid-July.

Peer-support workers are employed specifically as a result of their personal experience of mental health issues and aim to help patients achieve personal recovery goals and aspirations.

Justine Brown, peer-support worker coordinator, said: 'We had over 80 applicants to become the first peer support workers.

'As well as lived experience of mental-health issues, applicants needed to demonstrate an understanding of their own mental health condition and an understanding of recovery. They also needed a desire to give something back and a compassionate attitude.'

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