MacGREGOR Aisha, CAMERON Julie
Outlines the main findings an evaluation of a mental health carers peer mentoring project, which delivered peer mentoring services across two sites: RE: Connect in Glasgow and Time and Space in Stirling and Clackmannanshire. The project aimed to enable mental health carers receiving peer mentoring to be better supported and have better mental health and wellbeing, and for peer mentors have improved skills and wellbeing. It involved training for peer mentors, an outreach programme to promote the project to professionals and the general public, and learning events to raise profile of mental health carers. The evaluation draws on interviews and surveys conducted with mentees, mentors, volunteers, staff members, and referral agencies. It looks at the successes and challenges experienced by the project. Case studies also provide an insight into the experience and impact of peer mentoring for both mentors and mentees. It reports that over three years, 109 individuals engaged with the project across both sites as mentors (n= 53), mentees (n=44), or volunteers (n=12). The training provided was particularly successful and helped to strengthen confidence and prepare individuals for the mentoring role and mentees also valued being supported by someone who had occupied a caring role. Challenges included the recruitment of mentees, despite direct advertising and outreach work. Overall, the project was successful, demonstrating the potential of the peer mentoring model for future provision.