Home HealthDrugs and Alcohol Support Focus on peer mentors to help you with your drug or alcohol use
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Focus on peer mentors to help you with your drug or alcohol use

by Emily Maguire

Change Grow Live (CGL) offer a range of help and support in Knowsley to residents who are struggling with drug or alcohol use.

As well as offering tailored support, they also offer you a peer mentor – someone who has been through the same issues and process as you and can truly relate to your situation. They could be in recovery or have used the services in the past. Others have helped a loved one through their journey.

We caught up with a peer mentor at CGL to find out more about how they use their experience to support others.

What does a peer mentor do?

Peer mentors are volunteers who shadow members of staff or support a team with their day-to-day recovery programme including client support.

They can be the first point of contact for someone seeking help, making them feel at ease through to running recovery support groups and activities including art and relaxation sessions.

Most importantly, they are using their own experience to show and inspire others that positive change can happen.

What impact do peer mentors have?

A peer mentor visibly shows the positive impact seeking help can have on a person’s life.

As well as supporting people, they also inspire others, help them to develop new interests and achieve goals.

A mentor facilitated an art group with service users who said that the group “makes me feel like a normal person.”

How did you become a mentor?

“Following my second round detox, my biggest challenge was loneliness and boredom. My recovery coordinator suggested that I could train to be a peer mentor. This completely changed everything for me. I feel like I’m someone else. I am confident and through my experiences, I am inspiring others.

“I have been a mentor for six years and enjoy working with others to provide inspiration, support and hope.”

In your experience, what difference does seeking help make?

“From my own perspective, including the people I am supporting, there is a gradual, but significant positive change to a person’s health, relationships, families, their local community, job prospects, self esteem and self-worth.”

Need help and support?

You are not alone and help and support is available – call CGL today on 0151 482 6291 or email knowsley.info@cgl.org.uk to discuss your concerns and the support available to you.