Developing a model for peer support in emergency departments

Improving supports for people experiencing mental distress in emergency departments

Emergency departments are often poorly equipped, in relation to the physical environment, knowledge and personnel, to respond appropriately to people who present with mental distress. There is good evidence that peer workers improve people’s experience of mental health services by using their personal experiences of distress and recovery to support others.

This project will identify the optimal role for peer workers in emergency departments. It will co-produce an innovative service model drawing on research evidence in mental health and the built environment, stakeholder perspectives, and expertise from lived experience. This model will complement current innovations in peer roles and emergency settings.

Associate Professor Bridget Hamilton [Centre for Psychiatric Nursing]

Associate Professor Lisa Brophy [Centre for Mental Health]

Dr Andrew Martel [Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning]

Dr Nicole Hill [Department of Social Work]

Professor David Castle [Department of Psychiatry]

Catherine Minshall [Project Officer]

Helena Roennfeldt [Doctoral Candidate]

Anthony Stratford [Department of Psychiatry]

Dr Sally Buchanan Hagen [Deakin University]

Professor Larry Davidson [Yale University]

Louise Byrne [RMIT University]

Examining the Role of Mental Health Peer Support in Emergency Departments

Access the 61-page research report including the Executive Summary

Download: Download the Report (PDF)

Download: Download the Report (Word)

Report Cover

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Brasier, C., Roennfeldt, H., Hamilton, B., Martel, A., Hill, N., Stratford, A., Buchanan-Hagen, S., Byrne, L., Castle, D.J., Cocks, N., Davidson, L., Brophy, L. "Peer support work for people experiencing mental distress attending the Emergency Department: exploring the potential" Emergency Medicine Australasia, 2021:e0.

For information about this project, please contact:

Associate Professor Bridget Hamilton
Department of Nursing
Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences
Phone: +61 3 9035 4224