A is a woman in her late 20’s who had recently been relocated to a different area due to the breakup of an abusive relationship, and had been to see her GP with depression, anxiety, and a fear of leaving the house. The doctor offered her the choice of anti-depressants or peer support, and A decided to give peer support a go.
On the first meeting, she hardly spoke, but on her second visit she was already much brighter. She said that by talking to someone she started to look at some of the problems that she had put on one side for many years. When she had tried to speak to her family, she had received sympathy, but she couldn’t really open up, which had made her feel worse. A peer supporter, instead gave empathy, and enabled her to face some of the issues she’d been bottling up. It was easy to talk to the support worker, and it helped her to clarify some of the concerns that had been going round in her head. After 6 sessions she was ready to make some decisions about how to move on with her life.
The support worker bumped into her a couple of months later in a playgym, with her toddler and a friend. She came over to her and thanked her for giving her the confidence, through the support, to take control of her own life again, without the need for medication.