Together for Mental Wellbeing undertook a study which revealed that every pound spent on peer support yields a social return worth £4.94. Peer support takes place when people with experience of mental distress support each other towards better wellbeing, as people of equal value and on a reciprocal basis, using their own lived experience of mental distress as a tool for support.
In order to quantify the value of the support for both those delivering and receiving it, Together undertook a Social Return on Investment Study. The peer support delivered over the course of a year in three of Together’s accommodation services in Hampshire was assessed to understand the ways in which peer support impacted people’s lives and what they valued most about it. From this, the return on investment in peer support was calculated using a methodology for measuring the equivalent worth of the charity’s activity in social terms.
Of the service users that took part in the study:
- 92% had improved confidence as a result of the peer support they received
- 73% felt more able to manage their mental health
- 67% felt more in control
- 83% had an improved social life and support network
- 83% felt more accepted
- 92% felt more hopeful about the future
Of the Peer Supporters that took part in the study:
- 100% had improved confidence as a result of the peer support they delivered
- 90% felt more able to manage their mental health
- 90% had an improved social life and support network
- 100% felt more accepted
- 90% felt they had a greater sense of purpose
- 100% felt they had improved future prospects
The peer support was delivered by 12 volunteer peer supporters, who were extensively trained and supported by Together, in line with the charity’s policy on providing the resources and framework needed for high-quality peer support to flourish.