My Peer Mentor Journey
At the end of January Steve was named Dorset Peer Mentor of the Year at the Peer Mentor Graduation. He was nominated by EDP staff who presented him with the shield which is given to a Peer Mentor each year. Here is what he had to say about his Peer Mentor Journey.
“My peer mentor journey has been very enlightening. I would love to say it has all been great but it has also been fairly challenging.
I’ve learnt a lot about myself as, like some others, the journey has coincided with my own personal recovery. I have been given a great opportunity and I have tried to take it with both hands. This has meant that finding a balance with helping others and also myself, has not always been achieved.
I quickly learnt that having more responsibility was very mentally draining and I needed to be a lot kinder to myself, although my mind-set was that I could cure everyone.
Being put forward and attending EDP training courses for staff and volunteers is one of the great opportunities that I have been given. I have so far been on NPS Training, Home Detox Training, First Aid Training, Needle Exchange Training, Advanced Engagement, Motivational Interviewing, Workshop Training, First Steps Training and of course the Peer Mentor Course.
All this training has been very useful but it was the Peer Mentor Training that gave me a sound footing to undertake the rest. I would advise anyone in my position to do it, and use the experience in the way that it was intended.
To be honest I have always been a confident person but I find it uncomfortable trying to have a conversation with someone about something that I don’t understand fully and my Peer Mentor Training and experience has been a bridge to this and better communication.
I have found my sense of humour, and luckily I have a knack of being able to be natural to clients and staff alike and I think my sense of humour has helped my natural stance. Learning that there is a time and place for humour has been part of my journey also.
I will end on saying, thank you very much for the opportunity that I have been given and I really enjoy doing what I do.”