Peer work in rural and remote communities and mental health services

Peer work in rural and remote communities and mental health services Book Section

Handbook of Rural, Remote, and very Remote Mental Health

  • Author(s): Jackson, Fay, Heffernan, Tim, Orr, Mark, Young, Robert Butch, Puckett, Cherie, Daly, Susan
  • Secondary Author(s): Carey, Timothy A., Gullifer, Judith
  • Published: 2020
  • Publisher: Springer Singapore
  • ISBN: 978-981-10-5012-1

Abstract: Peer Workers are the most underutilised, valuable resource available to rural and remote mental health services and communities. Evidence has confirmed the efficacy of peer work, yet their historically slow uptake has robbed communities and individuals of the opportunity to be supported by staff who can provide an added layer of assistance as part of a multidisciplinary team or beneficial alternative to conventional treatments. This chapter seeks to inspire confidence in all stakeholders involved in rural and remote communities to engage with the valuable, fast growing, competent, and readily available Peer Workforce. It discusses the evidence, value, and efficacy of peer work in rural and remote mental health services and communities. The high level of stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health in rural and remote communities and the desperately low level of “homegrown” mental health personnel who know that the local people, customs, languages, and land can be rectified by the employment of Peer Workers from within the community they live. This chapter asserts that the ethical and practical conclusions regarding peer work in rural and remote communities are that supported, respected, and valued Peer Workers are vital to the much needed reform of mental health services. It sets out the main reasons for this by utilising recognised, published research and academic papers, along with case studies utilising peer work in three very different rural and remote areas in Australia which are utilised to demonstrate and authenticate the desperate need for and beneficial effects of Peer Work.

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Suggested Citation
Jackson, Fay, Heffernan, Tim, Orr, Mark, Young, Robert Butch, Puckett, Cherie, Daly, Susan, 2020, Peer work in rural and remote communities and mental health services, Book Section, viewed 07 December 2021, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=21690.

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