The Innovative Peer Support Programme Helping Young People in Birmingham

On 15th August 2022
Categories: 2022

Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity is using NHS Charites Together funds to support an innovative programme for young people presenting with mental illnesses in Birmingham.

Miski, Peer Support Worker

Sadly, with the pandemic having had such a negative impact on the mental health of young people across the UK, this is needed more than ever.

The project focuses on support provided by Peer Support Workers who are aged between 16 and 24 years old and come from the same communities and backgrounds as the people they are supporting. Crucially, they all have lived experiences of mental illness, which will help them to support others with their medical recovery, as well as assist them with their own.

“The concept of helping people recover through shared and lived experiences really spoke to me.”

Miski, Peer Support Worker

Miski was appointed as the first Peer Support Worker on the project. After experiencing psychosis during her final year of university due to stress and feeling like she didn’t fit in, Miski was sectioned twice and started cognitive behavioural therapy to help overcome the shame she felt about her mental health illness.

Miski wanted to use her experience to help others who are struggling with their mental health and show them that they are not alone.

Elaine Kirwan, Director of Nursing (Mental Health Services) at Birmingham Women’s
and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said:


“The funding helped us to start the programme, and provided a good platform for us to achieve our ambitions of increasing capacity to help more young people across our city. We’re incredibly grateful to NHS Charities Together and the public for helping to fund our new Peer Support Worker programme. We are focused, more than ever, on providing long-term support through this new model, to young people struggling with their mental health.”

Click on the video below to learn more:



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