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What is Independent Advocacy

The Peer Forum survey

The Peer Forum at CAPS Independent Advocacy is a collective advocacy space for people who use their mental health lived experience as peer workers or volunteers in Edinburgh. Peer workers or volunteers use their own experience of mental health issues in an intentional way to benefit others.

The Peer Forum includes and is open to people who engage or have engaged in any form of peer support: paid/voluntary peer work, naturally occurring peer support etc. The Peer Forum aims to serve as a protected space where important issues around peer work can be discussed. So far, the group has discussed key issues like: employers’ understanding of peer work; pay in peer work; language around peer work; and opportunities for progressing within peer work. The group shares feedback from these meetings in bigger meetings where key stakeholders of peer work in Edinburgh are present.

The best thing for me about being involved in the Peer Group has been the recognition that peer work can incorporate different ways of helping each other. E.g. paid and voluntary roles, formal and informal activities, and individual and collective practices.

Peer Forum volunteer

Survey to improve experiences of peer workers

Inspired by previous discussions, the group has recently undertaken a survey exploring people’s experiences as peer workers in Edinburgh. Specifically, the survey aims to understand what is good within peer work, what needs further improvement and what might be causing people to move on from peer working roles. The anonymous findings from this survey will be shared with stakeholders and decision makers with the aim of improving experiences of peer workers in Edinburgh.

If you’re a paid peer worker in Edinburgh please take part in our survey to help improve experiences of peer workers.

If you would like more information about the Peer Forum or how to join, please contact Madhu Venugopal at

The Peer Forum logo, 'CAPS Peer Forum' with a pink swish

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