Why Volunteer for PeerTalk? Caroline's story...

PeerTalk Facilitator, Skipton group

CarolineWhy did you choose to volunteer for PeerTalk?

As someone who was/is supporting two close family members through a mental health crisis journey, I was struck by the fact that intervention often requires crisis and even then, is limited. Peertalk concept is simple and doesn't require crisis and only requires commitments at the peers' pace.

What do you get out of it?

I enjoy a sense of purpose and connection from providing a safe space to allow peers to support each other. It is an absolute joy and fills me will pride when a peer walks out "in control" after a peer-generated action.

How are you supported in your role?

I received an initial one-day training which was both professional and sympathetic to subject matter and the individuals who attended. The quarterly training is great and offers the opportunity for volunteers to connect and share the experience.

Has anything particularly struck you whilst volunteering with PeerTalk?

My personal experience of people struggling with their emotional wellbeing was pretty brutal and a very steep learning curve. PeerTalk’s simple and respectful concept, had I been aware of it, may have been able to help before crisis point. PeerTalk also offers a much-needed bridge to formal support that can take months.

What would you say to someone thinking about volunteering for PeerTalk?

I have got as much from volunteering with PeerTalk as any of my peers. It has given me a sense of connection. I also see the difference, my peers, I and the charity as a whole make. The training will give you the skills and the other volunteers will give you the confidence to do this voluntary role. Do it.