A different kind of support

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Solidarity in Crisis is a Certitude service which offers out of hours, over-the-phone and outreach support for people experiencing a mental health crisis – and their carers – in Lambeth. The service has been co-designed with users and carers, and people with lived experience of mental health issues are employed as peers supporters to use their understanding and experience to support people through crisis.

The team of eight is trained in mental health first aid, mindfulness, and suicide prevention. The combination of our organisational skills with the natural empathy and insight of people with lived experience of mental health issues, seems to be a particularly successful one.

Certitude Development Director Marianne Selby Boothroyd explains:

“It isn’t a question of people with lived experience providing better support; it’s simply that their experience means that they can offer a different kind of engagement and this is especially suitable for some people. In addition to supporting individuals in crisis, we support family carers and we have found that those who have little or no direct experience of mental health problems find the advice they are able to get from our peer mentors particularly helpful.”

Jason S is a young carer who has found a great deal of support from Solidarity in crisis:

“I am a carer for my mother and it is difficult as I am young and taking on this much responsibility means I have had to sacrifice my social life. Solidarity in Crisis has given me a much needed break and my mother seems a whole lot happier as she doesn’t have to rely on me so much.”

Social worker, Nicky B, has been impressed with the support received by many of her clients:

“My clients have reported feeling heard for the first time; being understood for the first time and having a more positive outlook. I have recommended this service to other professionals.”