My job makes lives better by utilising my lived experience of mental illness or of caring for somebody who has mental health problems, in a Peer Support role to contribute to the care and recovery of people accessing the HOMEFirst approach alongside the Recovery and Connect Workers and helping to ensure an accessible, non-stigmatising localised service.
Job title: Lived Experience Practitioner
Service: Recovery and Connect Service (HOMEFirst)
Hours: 37per week
Holidays: 25 days (pro rata)
Term: 12 months
This post is subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check, and the successful completion of a probationary period.
HOMEFirst provides an increased level of intervention for people with complex mental health needs who require enhanced levels of support to live in the community. It is an entirely new approach to multi-agency working and personalised-care planning that enables people to live well at home, preventing any future deterioration in their mental health, or the need for in-patient admission.
Through sharing wisdom from their own experiences, the Lived Experience Practitioner will inspire hope and belief that recovery is possible in others. As an integral and highly valued member of the team, the Lived Experience Practitioner will provide formalised peer support and practical assistance to people using the service for them to regain control over their lives and their own unique recovery journey. In particular, the Lived Experience Practitioner will support the smooth transition of people using the service to other Mental Health services, by helping them to complete recovery and crisis plans for example. Within a relationship of mutuality and information sharing, they will promote choice, self-determination, and opportunities for the fulfillment of socially valued roles and connection to local communities.
Suitable for someone who is kind, caring and supportive with good interpersonal and communication skills and who is keen to provide the highest quality experience for people using the HOMEFirst approach.
- To provide one-to-one support for people from a lived experience perspective, in whatever environment is suitable and applicable to the service user. This will be focused on helping provide support with strategies to manage activities of daily living such as self-care, caring for their home and pursuit of leisure activities.
- Work as part of a multidisciplinary team
- Deliver peer support interventions as agreed within the multidisciplinary team, and within a peer relationship.
- To build safe, trusting relationships with service users to empower and enable each individual service user, in a non-directive, non-prescriptive way, to discover and make use of their own strengths and to build and strengthen positive connections with their peers, networks and wider communities.
- To provide equivalent support, informally (where the service user chooses not to make use of formal, written plans), through open, non-judgemental listening and sharing of lived experience to validate service users’ experiential knowledge, empower them to make plans, decisions and choices, realise their own strengths and build positives connections and relationships.
- Establish supportive and respectful relationships with people using the service.
- Help people identify their own recovery goals.
- To enable and support service users to identify, choose and develop service user-owned recovery/ wellbeing/ personal plans, crisis plans and personal network maps where they wish to do so.
- Support people using the service to identify and overcome fears within a relationship of empathy and trust.
- Share ideas about ways of achieving Recovery goals, drawing on personal experiences and a range of coping, self-help, and self-management techniques.
- Model personal responsibility, self-awareness, self-belief, self-advocacy, and hopefulness.
- Signpost to various resources, opportunities, and activities within the organisation and in communities to promote choice and informed decision making.
- Accompany people who use the service to appointments / meetings / activities of their choice and performing a range of practical tasks, aligned to recovery goals.
- Assist in risk assessments with multi-disciplinary staff, highlighting any changes in service users’ presentation relevant to their safety and feedback accordingly.
- Support the service in promoting a recovery orientated environment by identifying recovery-focused activities and imparting information and education as required.
- Act as a recovery champion within the service, and as an ambassador of recovery for the organisation with external agencies and partner organisations.
- Be actively involved in the continued development of and in the ongoing evaluation of the Lived Experience Practitioner role and create links with the wider Lived Experience work force.
- Attend and complete an agreed induction programme and a peer support worker training programme, if not already completed.
- Identify personal developmental needs in conjunction with Line Manager and supervision, undertaking further training as necessary.
- Participate in mandatory training as required.
- To make full use of supervision, peer support with other colleagues and other support as necessary to maintain their own well-being and safety in the peer support role.
- To make full use of supervision and use group reflective practice to work with the challenges of using lived experience to support people with potentially difficult and distressing issues, maintaining appropriate boundaries.
- Maintain a working knowledge of current trends in mental health, recovery, and peer support by reading books, journals and accessing peer support networks.
- Work in accordance with the organisations’ Policies, Procedures, and values.
- To hand over issues of risk, safety, and safeguarding, having explained this first to the service user, following locally agreed procedures for risk and safety management.
- To use personal, experiential knowledge and to share lived experience, in building safe, trusting relationships with named service users.
- To contribute information regarding support provided and the safety and wellbeing of people which can inform assessment, planning implementation and review of care with the multidisciplinary team.
- Undertake any other duties which may reasonably be regarded as within the nature of the duties and responsibilities / grade of the post as defined, subject to the proviso that normally any changes of a permanent nature shall be incorporated into the job description in specific terms.
Skills, Knowledge, Experience and Qualifications Required
- Lived experience of mental illness or of caring for somebody who has mental health problems.
- Experience accessing primary/secondary and/or crisis services.
- Paid or unpaid experience of working in a lived experience role.
- Numeracy and Literacy at a Key Stage 3 level or equivalent.
- Computer literate in Microsoft office, and willingness to use the organisations’ IT systems.
- Experience of recovering a meaningful life.
- Experience of being in a supportive and enabling role.
- Ability to share personal story of recovery in a professional manner.
- Ability to assist people to develop recovery and crisis plans.
- Ability and willingness to reflect on work practice and be open to constructive feedback.
- Ability to work in an enabling and creative way.
- Willingness to support people with a range of needs to meet their recovery goals.
- Ability to manage stress, and to plan and prioritise your own workload and activities.
- Ability to carry out practical tasks.
- Ability to maintain a healthy home / work life balance.
- High level of self-awareness – ability to critically appraise own performance.
- Critical thinker.
- Understanding and knowledge of recovery; of the issues and concerns of mental health service users and of the impact of stigma and discrimination.
- Understanding and knowledge of trauma informed care, and ability to use trauma informed care principles to benefit yourself and others.
- Knowledge and commitment to service user’s rights.
- Excellent written, verbal, and non-verbal communication skills.
- Ability to communicate effectively with a range of service users, carers, professionals, and agencies.
- Receiving highly complex and sensitive information. Persuasive and reassurance skills required.
- Ability to develop and maintain sound working relationships with all members of the multidisciplinary teams.
- To be aware of professional roles within the therapeutic relationship.
- Professional in appearance and behavior.
- Able to manage conflict and to help others to do so.
- Good team working skills.
Experience and Qualifications Desired
- Peer support worker training, e.g., ImROC Peer Support Training course.
- NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Health & Social Care or equivalent level of knowledge, training, and experience.
Mary Frances Trust (MFT) is a mental health and emotional wellbeing charity, supporting Surrey residents since 1994 in Banstead, Elmbridge, Epsom & Ewell and Mole Valley.
We offer a variety of face-to-face and online services, available to adults (aged 16+) living in Surrey who would like to restore and/or maintain their mental and emotional wellbeing (no diagnosis needed).
Our services are free of charge, with no waiting list and no time limit (you can use us for as long as you need and register again at any point).
To see all of our services, please visit the How We Help section of our website.
We believe anyone experiencing any kind of mental or emotional health issues should feel unafraid to ask for help, receive appropriate support for as long as they need, and be inspired to develop the skills that will help them to restore and maintain their own wellbeing, and lead a fulfilling life.
Our mission is to:
- Work alongside people experiencing any kind of emotional or mental health issues for as long as they need and inspire them to develop the skills that will help them to restore and maintain their emotional wellbeing.
- Involve people with lived experience of mental health issues at every level of the organisation so together we can design, deliver, monitor, and review our services and ensure they respond to their changing needs.
- Consistently challenge stigma attached to mental illness and raise awareness of the importance of looking after your mental wellbeing.
- Lead and co-ordinate the development and delivery of first-class, voluntary mental health services in Surrey.
- Maintain sufficient funding streams to be able to provide person-centred services to people experiencing any kind of emotional or mental health issues.
We are committed to following Safer Recruitment practices to ensure the safeguarding of the whole community we serve, from members of the public and clients using our services, to our staff, volunteers, partners, and external facilitators. All successful candidates will be required to undertake enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks as well as reference checks before being officially offered the post. Please note that a criminal record is not an automatic exclusion and will be judged on a case-by-case basis.
New staff members will be subject to a six-month probationary period and all staff members will receive regular Safeguarding training throughout the duration of their employment.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
We believe in a fair, equal, diverse and inclusive society. As an organisation, we believe we are stronger and richer when we bring together different experiences and perspectives to better serve our clients and local community. We are committed to creating a workforce that is diverse, inclusive of all, representative of the community we serve, promotes positivity, and instils a can-do attitude in everyone, no matter their background or characteristics at every level of our organisation from our staff and volunteers, all the way to our Trustees and Patrons. We strongly encourage applications from members of every community and actively seek to hire people with lived experience of mental health issues.
How to apply
To apply for this role, please fill in our Online Application Form (button below) where you’ll be able to upload your CV and covering letter (in which you’ll explain how you feel your experience is suitable for the role). Thank you!
If you are encountering any difficulties applying for the position, please email Emma our Administration and Communications Assistant, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.