The NHS trust behind a scheme designed to help mental health patients in crisis is calling upon those who have experience of dealing with such issues to offer their skills.
The Peer Experience Listening project run by Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT) is a valuable feedback project that helps those with mental health problems and their carers to share information and help improve the services available.
The Trust is now looking for more people from the county to get involved.
Ian from Hemel Hempstead, a carer for his son, has been a Peer Experience Listener for three years, and said: “I joined the scheme because I wanted to make a difference. If I can help improve HPFT’s services – for other people as well as my son – by being a listener, then that’s great.
“When I speak to carers to get their feedback as a listener, being a carer myself, I think it helps me build trust and a relationship with the person, so they are more willing to share information with me.”
Rachel Fox, who works on the project, said: “Shared experiences can create a strong bond and an opportunity to create a healthy, mutually supportive environment and beneficial experience. The listener can really put themselves in that person’s shoes and understand where they are coming from. This means that often we hear information that wouldn’t otherwise have been heard as people have reservations about using other formal comment and complaints procedures.”
Anyone in Herts with experience of mental health services, whether personally or as a carer, can take part.
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