In the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), it is estimated that 3000 women access mental health services annually and approximately a third of these women have ongoing connections with the sector. The aim of the research was to identify and document best practice peer support models internationally, nationally and locally, identify and document the needs and experiences of women participating in peer support in the ACT, and evaluate two peer support programs for women in the ACT. It found that best practice in peer support includes a recovery focus, key principles of peer support, gender sensitive practice, and the need for facilitation, supervision and training. The findings of the focus groups and pilot studies showed that women participants experienced increases in their mental health and wellbeing, self-esteem and confidence, and levels of social connectedness. Given the positive outcomes from the peer support for women in the research, it is considered important that opportunities for peer support for women living with mental health issues in the ACT continue to grow.

er support for women with mental health issues – The views of ACT women

Peer support for women with mental health issues – The views of ACT women

WCHM Peer Support Evaluation Framework

WCHM Peer Support Evaluation Framework