Re:Connect and Time and Space were unique peer support project established for mental health carers. Our partners included Action in Mind and GAMH.
We developed the programme in partnership with the Glasgow Association for Mental Health and Action in Mind, with funding from The Big Lottery.
The programme won a Quality Award from the Scottish Mentoring Network and ran across two areas in Scotland: Stirling and Clackmannanshire, and Glasgow.
Re:Connect and Time and Space matched mental health carers with another person who has been through a similar situation. The project offered flexible and responsive support that was provided on a one-to-one basis and regular time out to talk and focus on one’s own health and well-being.
Quick fact: 3 in 5 Scots will become a carer at some stage in their life and 1 in 10 are already fulfilling a caring role.1
What did participants think of the project?
“I received mentorship through the Re:Connect project and I found the experience rewarding and constructive. I enjoyed building the meetings into my schedule and having those couple of hours of conversation to look forward to each week. I suffer from anxiety and depression and being able to talk to someone who’s had similar experiences can really put things into perspective.”
- George, mentee with Re:Connect
“I have been using Time and Space for the last 6 months. My wife is suffering from depression and anxiety and I was in need of support to help me manage as a carer. I was matched with a peer mentor, who I have been meeting on a regular basis. This gave me the opportunity to have some time focused on my wellbeing, as well as discussing the best ways to support my wife. This has made a massive difference; my relationships have improved and I feel better equipped to cope. On top of this, I have made a good friend in my peer mentor! I would like to thank Time and Space for this support, and would recommend this to others who find themselves in a similar situation.”
- Mark, mentee with Time and Space
There are different types of peer support, but they all involve both giving and receiving support. This could be sharing knowledge or providing emotional support, social interaction or practical help, for example. Everyone’s experiences are treated as equally important and no-one is more of an expert than anyone else.
Prevention and mental health
There are lots of factors that influence our mental health, such as our personal history (our family, relationships and how we see ourselves) and our social circumstances (including our housing, employment and education).