Peer Worker Roles and Risk in Mental Health Services: A Qualitative Comparative Case Study
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- Holley, J., Gillard, S. & Gibson, S. Community Ment Health J (2015) 51: 477. doi:10.1007/s10597-015-9843-y
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New peer worker roles are being introduced into mental health services internationally. This paper addresses a lack of research exploring issues of risk in relation to the role. In-depth interviews were carried out with 91 peer workers, service users, staff and managers. A grounded analysis revealed protective practice in minimising risk to peer worker well-being that restricted the sharing of lived experience, and a lack of insight into how peer workers might be involved in formal risk management. Alternatively, analysis revealed potential new understandings of risk management based on the distinctive, experiential knowledge that peer workers brought to the role.