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Open AccessArticle

Taking a Gamble for High Rewards? Management Perspectives on the Value of Mental Health Peer Workers

1
Midwifery and Social Sciences, School of Nursing, Central Queensland University, 554/700 Yaamba Road, Norman Gardens, QLD 4701, Australia
2
School of Management, RMIT University, 124 La Trobe St, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 746; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040746
Received: 14 March 2018 / Revised: 5 April 2018 / Accepted: 11 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health and Social Care and Social Interventions)
Mental health peer work is attracting growing interest and provides a potentially impactful method of service user involvement in mental health design and delivery, contributing to mental health reform. The need to effectively support this emerging workforce is consequently increasing. This study aimed to better understand the views of management in relation to peer work and specifically explores the value of peer work from the perspective of management. This qualitative research employed grounded theory methods. There were 29 participants in total, employed in both peer designated and non-peer designated management roles, in not for profit and public health organisations in Queensland, Australia. The value of peer work as described by participants is found to be partially dependent on practical supports and strategies from the organisation. There were high benefits for all facets of the organisation when effective recruitment and ongoing support for peer workers was prioritised and a higher perception of limitations when they were not. Due to some parallels, it may be useful to explore the potential for peer work to be conceptually and/or practically considered as a form of diversity and inclusion employment. View Full-Text
Keywords: service users; peer work; lived experience work; management; diversity employment; recovery; mental health services; mental health reform service users; peer work; lived experience work; management; diversity employment; recovery; mental health services; mental health reform
MDPI and ACS Style

Byrne, L.; Roennfeldt, H.; O’Shea, P.; Macdonald, F. Taking a Gamble for High Rewards? Management Perspectives on the Value of Mental Health Peer Workers. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 746.

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