Peer work rewarding for mental health recruits | Newcastle Herald

Fri Nov 13, 2015

PEOPLE with a lived experience of mental health are being recruited to help deliver front-line services.

So far, RichmondPRA have employed nearly 100 peer workers across a range of mental health, community support and employment services in the early stages of the program.

Many of those positions are being created in the Newcastle area, where services are expanding to people receiving National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) packages of support.

Peer worker applicants must be able to demonstrate an ability to use their own story purposefully to assist people accessing RichmondPRA services in their mental health recovery journey.

One of the program's first recruits, Michael Macokatic, of Newcastle, said he has found his role as a peer worker very rewarding.

"I saw an ad to become a peer worker with RichmondPRA and was hesitant about applying at first, given the stigma that can follow those who 'come out' with mental health issues," Mr Macokatic said.

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