"I began my journey to becoming a Peer Support Worker (PSW) by being a consumer of Neami. I was fortunate enough to be able to learn off the PSW at our site and expand my recovery journey into areas I would not have gone to without the OHP and Flourish programs and information from the PSW. After finding out she was leaving I discussed with her if she thought I had the skills and knowledge to become a Peer Support Worker too.
I became a Peer Support Worker in 2015 and have loved every minute of the experience so much. The opportunity to work with wonderful colleagues at my site and also all the other PSW’s in NSW has been so rewarding. Leading and co-facilitating groups has been the greatest part of the job and I am always keen to get the next group started. Being involved with consumers as they rediscover parts of themselves and develop a broader understanding of their journey has been an honour. As they have participated in the groups and coaching, I too have been able to learn and grow from them.
By working closely with my manager and explaining my interests on what I would like to do I have been able to create a job that I love. In my role as PSW I was able to be involved in networking with other support agency to develop a peer mentoring program and be on interview panels in hiring PSW’s for the hospitals. Another opportunity was to be part of a Peer Conference to the NSW State leadership team. I have also been able create a site newsletter which provides information to consumers as well as giving them a place to write about their recovery journeys.
At the beginning of this year a new opportunity for advancement was offered to all the NSW and QLD peers for the role of Peer Practice Leader for NSW and QLD. This new role will involve supporting PSW’s with orientation, mentoring and in rolling out the Peer Health Coaching program. As I was the chosen applicant I am about to start a new and exciting stage in my peer journey within Neami."