“In my eyes, you’re more qualified to care for people and be a peer worker for people with a mental health condition if you’ve gone through one yourself and recovered, rather than by reading the BNF manual over and over again.”

“It’s more human isn’t it rather than coming from a text book, the actual lived experience our human experience so we can share that round.”

“It is a way to help people, it’s like a friend to a friend. It is very powerful and rewarding and has some fantastic outcomes for all concerned.”

“PSW are fantastic, people can relate to them. They are never above you. They walk beside you, offer support and put an arm around you when needed. You empathise together, overcome things together, using lived experience to offer hope and help you find then achieve your goal.”

“It’s like being hit by a truck, everyone knows it hurts, but only those who have been hit by a truck know how it actually hurts.”

“I think everyone should have the chance to have a PSW. It made me feel like I was normal and not a freak because I heard voices. Seeing that others were also hearing them and managing a job gave me more hope than anything the psychiatrist has ever done for me.”

“I have met some really lovely people, I think I gained just as much if not more than the people I was supporting. It enhanced my recovery even though I felt I was already recovered. I absolutely love the role, it’s very rewarding.”

“Getting people to accept they are peers and not ex-service users is vital to get the value of what they bring to the PSW role.”

“It is lovely to come to a group and be amongst women who know just how I feel, I look forward to coming every week, it keeps me going.”

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