In times of reduced social interaction, peer support is more important than ever. Our Peer Employment Coach is facilitating ways for our clients to connect and support other, as his firsthand account of this case study shows.  

Ray initially found it difficult to adjust with the new government rules when lockdown started. As we were both experiencing same sort of difficulties with having mental health and during this period, we started to share our experiences of this. At first our communications were mainly through emails and phone calls, I suggested we can also chat on WhatsApp and rather than emails as it would be an easier way of communicating. This worked out very well for us as Ray was able to leave me voice notes when he felt he was unable to communicate his feelings through text.   

During our conversations Ray suggested that we set up WhatsApp Peer Support Group as it felt this could not only be beneficial to him but also to other peers to be able to communicate with each other. Ray was a co-administrator of the group and together we wrote up group rules and guidelines, designed a poster for advertising and looked in to ways that peers' names and numbers could be made anonymous. Through the group Ray was able to communicate and build a relationship with another peer who is also part of the group.    

Ray has also become a Social Media Volunteer for WWT as he is updating the Twitter account for Access Print. This is something he is finding that when he is well, he is enjoying.   

Ray had this to say about peer support: 

"Peer Support has connected me with people who are in a similar situation as me and it has been really beneficial for me especially during these uncertain times. Also, Murat's weekly telephones has helped me a lot. He listens to me and is able to understand the issues I've been through. Thanks a lot Murat!"