Our Peer Group
The Peer Group at Corby Mind is a long running peer support group that offers opportunities for members of Corby Mind to support each other as well as engage in activities to improve their wellbeing. The Big Lottery Fund awarded Mind £3.2 million to improve mental health service accessibility. Mind in Northampton developed the programme called Side by Side, with all local Mind’s across Northampton working together to improve the accessibility of mental health services and access to Peer Support.
Peer Group support can benefit anyone who is suffering with a mental health issue, including low mood, stress, grief, anger, depression and social isolation.
Peer Group support offers acceptance, opportunities to socialise and form friendships. The Peer Group also offers members the opportunity to use their skills and experiences to assist others on their journey to recovery as well as learn new skills and gain confidence.
The Peer Group is run by volunteers and paid staff, including past members who have experienced mental health problems and want to share their skills and experiences to help others on their journey of recovery.
A Peer Group member said that,
after 40 years and then coming to Corby Mind, he feels accepted for who he is for the first time in his life-through tears of happiness he has come home to himself.
When you get to know clients and their struggles in being rejected throughout life for whatever reason, this lovely acceptance feels special to hear. This member has accessed mindfulness and anxiety group work, Peer Group and counselling, showing that the member journey can really work.
Chris, another member who is now our Peer Group Co-Ordinator tells his story …
I was born with mild Asperger’s syndrome and have battled with most of my life .This sadly effected my school life as I dealt with severe bullying and struggled in class to socialise and interact. At home my life was even more difficult dealing with abuse so the struggles were becoming such a strain I believe I had probably my first type of breakdown from about age ten. I left my home aged sixteen homeless throughout my adult hood I’ve taken responsible jobs, but also battled discrimination regards my issues mentally and personally have had a breakdown recently first one since a child. This effected my marriage to breakdown and become homeless again.
I visited Corby Mind where I received counselling and became a member of the peer group where I was enabled to begin the journey of building back my confidence and skills and gave me trust in people and in myself again when I needed it most.
I then got the amazing chance to become a volunteer and have undertaken training to gain the qualifications to become a mental health support worker.
Now my role has grown to become the Peer Group Co-Ordinator and have come full circle supporting people and working with a great team heading to bigger and better things.