Peer support network

Peer supporters have experienced various health and life issues which impact on mental health, either directly or through someone they know. They offer listening, understanding and insight to help a person move back into positive mental health, based on their own lived experiences of what works.

How it works

The Dorset and Devon and Cornwall Alliance now has over 150 peer supporters who completed an EOI, had line management support, and attended a two-day course with Dorset ‘Mind’, providing them with advice and guidance on assisting someone in distress and signposting them to the right help.

The Alliance have also designed and created a bespoke website to host peer support, where individuals can access the biographies of supporters and choose who they would like to support them, with a facility for line managers to also refer individuals.

This also serves as a case management tool, where supporters can make notes and manage the support they give, as well as logging the time spent providing assistance. This allows us to create reports about the use of peer support as result.

There is no quantifiable data in terms of impact, but positive feedback for the 50-60 people who have engaged in the last 18 months has been received. A formal review is sought.

Top tips for implementation

Tip 1
Outsourcing training - engagement with other forces who have peer support to agree course content.
Tip 2
Code of conduct for peer supporters and escalation process for safeguarding.
Tip 3
Wellbeing staff to manage teams and implement.
Budget required


Ease of implementation


Impact on investigators


Link to resources

Supervisor role profile   
Download role profile
Supervisor code of conduct peer support 
Download code of conduct
Escalation process
Download escalation process