So if we like the idea of peer workers, why aren't we seeing more?

Gordon, J. and Bradstreet, S. (2015) So if we like the idea of peer workers, why aren't we seeing more? World Journal of Psychiatry, 5(2), pp. 160-166. (PMID:26110117) (PMCID:PMC4473487)

130473.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.


Publisher's URL:


The employment of peer support workers is widely encouraged in recovery-oriented mental health systems and services, providing a tangible example of how to translate recovery values and principles into actions. In Scotland, despite a long-term policy commitment to recovery approaches, the creation of peer worker roles has been slow and patchy. This paper describes findings from a study on the levers and barriers to the development of peer worker roles in two Scottish health board areas. Findings suggest that new evidence on effective implementation and cost effectiveness should be prioritised to support potentially complex role development in times of reduced resources. We argue that additional evidence on effectiveness is unlikely, by itself, to lead to country-wide employment of peer workers. We therefore suggest that a policy commitment to peer working would be reinforced by not only a strengthened evidence base but also strengthened accountability mechanisms. In the absence of such accountability, decision-makers and planners might reasonably continue to ask “why bother”?

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Peer support, recovery, mental health policy, role adoption, workforce development.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bradstreet, Dr Simon
Authors: Gordon, J., and Bradstreet, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:World Journal of Psychiatry
Publisher:Baishideng Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):2220-3206
Published Online:22 June 2015
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 The Authors
First Published:First published in World Journal of Psychiatry 5(2): 160-166
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record