Peer Worker Perspectives on Their Potential Role in the Success of Implementing Recovery-Oriented Practice in a Clinical Mental Health Setting

Jaz Chisholm, Melissa Petrakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: Recovery-oriented practice (ROP) is growing internationally in mental health services. The study aimed to examine the perspectives of peer workers about ROP pre-implementation within one service. This is important to improve clinicians’ understandings of how service users feel and experience the organization’s culture, thereby improving recovery focus. Method: A focus group using semi-structured questions. The research design was a social constructivist exploratory study, utilizing a narrative approach. The data collected were qualitative, and analyzed for meaning units and categories in the data. Results: Eight participants were service user and carer peer workers. Peer workers considered their roles as educating clinicians, representing service users, aiding in cultural/systemic shifts in services, and as leaders. Peer workers add lived experience and can contribute to clinician uptake and fidelity of practice in ROP. Conclusion: The study contributes to the growing evidence that the inclusion of peer workers in mental health services is advantageous in the implementation of ROP to ensure a lived experience grounded perspective underpins practice and policy change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-316
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Evidence-Based Social Work (United States)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2020


  • co-design
  • coproduction
  • critical social work
  • mental health
  • peer workers
  • practice-based research
  • Recovery-oriented practice

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