Frequently Asked Questions
What happens after I sign up to receive peer support?
In the coming days after you submit the form, a member of our triage team will give you a phone call to find our your goals, wishes, and assess your suitability for peer support. Then, you will receive an email formally welcoming you to the network.
There may then be a bit of a wait while we try find a peer support facilitator/group from our network who is a good fit for you and able to take you on. Once we have, we will e-introduce you via email. It will then be up to you to organise a time/frequency/modality along with your facilitator and the rest of the group.
Of course, should you have any questions or need to change something during this process, you can email us any time at handnhandAU@gmail.com.
What happens after I sign up to provide peer support?
When and if there is a participant (or group) for whom we think you would make a great match, we will send you an email asking if you'd be interested in providing peer support to them. If yes, we will e-introduce you via email. It will then be up to you together to organise a time/frequency/modality by which to meet.
If we require any more information from you (for example, clarification about your preferences or references) or need you to undertake more training (ie. a Hand-n-Hand Peer Support Training Workshop), a team member will contact you via email about this.
How often do peer support groups meet?
There is no set rule! Each pair/group has the freedom to decide amongst themselves how often they'd like to meet for peer support, based on their need and availability. This may change during the course of peer support as stressors come and go. As a reference, most of our active groups meet once every 2-4 weeks.
What happens if can no longer be a peer support facilitator?
That's absolutely fine - as a volunteer you may withdraw from peer support at any time, for any reason. If this is the case, let us know, and we will find another peer supporter who is able to take over your peer support group/participants. You may also re-join the peer support network at a later date.
Is this free mental health treatment?
No. Peer support is best used as a way to prevent mental ill health, not treat it. Peer support is not a clinical mental health intervention, and if this is what you're looking for, please see your GP or contact a crisis service such as Lifeline (13 11 14).
Can people with a diagnosed mental illness receive peer support?
Yes, provided it is controlled and they are not acutely unwell. Every person who signs up for peer support is given a phone call by our triage team, who screens for active mental illness and will refer them to an appropriate clinical service if necessary.