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Unique Community Support Programme

Hexagon has been working with Southwark Council (using their Innovation Grant funding) and local health services to develop a unique peer support programme for people with mental health needs in the London Borough of Southwark.

The initiative, which has been named The Athena Project, works by training people with their own experience of mental health issues to act as paid peer mentors to others in the community.

This is a completely new project, unlike anything else in the country. However, we hope the mentors will provide a valuable source of empathy, encouragement and practical advice to help people with enduring mental health needs to gain and maintain their independence. Previous evidence suggests that peer support is very valuable in aiding recovery and if successful, we hope to extend the scheme to other boroughs.

Mentoring candidates each undergo a ten day training programme (spread over two months), culminating in a nationally recognised Certificate in Community Development and flexible, paid employment.

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