What is the peer forum?
The Peer Forum is a collective advocacy space for people who use their mental health lived experience as peer workers or volunteers in Edinburgh.
What is peer work?
Peer workers use their own lived experience of mental health issues in an intentional way to benefit others. Peer work can be paid or voluntary. At CAPS, peer volunteers take part in collective advocacy projects where they share their lived experience to raise and challenge issues and work to bring about change.
Why is CAPS doing this work?
This work is part of the priorities of the Thrive Peer Work Community of Practice, shortened to the “Peer Community” for simplicity.
CAPS and Health in Mind are both involved in this work which is about embedding peer work across the city of Edinburgh and ensuring its true value is recognised. The Peer Community aims to support the professional development of paid peer workers (Health in Mind’s role) and to enhance opportunities for peer volunteering (Health in Mind and CAPS).
We bring Independence
As an Independent Advocacy organisation we are ideally suited to facilitate the Peer Forum. We do not follow the agenda of any other organisations or services. Peer workers and volunteers can bring their experiences to the Forum and our role is to help them find ways to progress the issues that are important to them in their day-to-day roles.
We have an official agreement with Health in Mind which ensures we retain our independence. This is an ideal partnership which brings together the knowledge and experience in peer work and service delivery that Health in Mind has, with the ethos of encouraging people to value their lived experience and have a stronger voice which is the collective advocacy approach of CAPS.
More about the Peer Community.
Get involved with us as a Peer Volunteer
If you have your own lived experience of mental health issues you could get involved with us as a volunteer. You might want to share your experiences as part of our range of awareness raising sessions to universities, colleges and schools, or our public mental health sessions aimed at increasing people’s understanding, delivered through our LEARN project.
There are other Peer roles possible too with each one of our Collective Advocacy projects. Find out more about volunteering.
For more information or to get involved, contact Victoria on firstname.lastname@example.org