Peer Mentoring Program - Eating Disorders Victoria
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Peer Mentoring Program

Home ~ Find support ~ Peer Mentoring Program

The Peer Mentoring Program is currently full and not taking referrals. We will be commencing a new intake in the next few months. This information will be updated when referrals are open again.

What is a Peer Mentor?

“It can get a bit overwhelming, having so many different treating team members and having to see so many different people and talk. It’s good to just be able to do something a bit more fun, and still be able to talk if that is what you need to do but in a less structured way.” – program participant 

Peer Mentoring can be defined as the help and support that people with lived experience of a mental illness are able to give one another. It is a relationship based on shared experiences, which mentors utilise to assist a participant’s recovery by focusing on strengths, practical supports and developing skills to accomplish self-identified goals.

A Mentor provides valuable insight as someone with a lived experience, which is extremely valuable in the eyes of the participant, providing hope and understanding. Often it is a unique relationship, unlike a friendship or clinical relationship, filling the gap between the two. Often those in recovery have not met anyone who has recovered and as a result, can find it challenging to believe it is possible.

How does the program work?

The Peer Mentoring Program (PMP) support adults with an eating disorder upon discharge from a hospital inpatient unit or in transition out of an intensive day program. It provides one-on-one mentoring with an EDV employee who has recovered from an eating disorder.

Participants and Mentors meet on a fortnightly basis for 13 sessions, each being up-to three hours at a time. The mentor supports the participant by working together to develop a recovery focused ‘Wellness Plan’ and undertaking activities identified to achieve identified goals. Common goals include engaging with community life and developing self-care.

Learn more about the program through the below video which was put together to advocate for funding from the Victorian Government.

How will it help me?

The program has proven results for both participants and mentors. Between 2016 -2018, participants in the program participated in an external evaluation, conducted through La Trobe University. Here are some of the outcomes of this evaluation:

The stats:

  • 100% of participants in the program all completed a ‘Wellness Plan’ that formed the structure for sessions and included support information and goals.
  • 100% of participants showed improvements in their Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaires, especially in the areas of eating concern and shape concern.
  • 60% showed improvements in coping skills and the ability to actively manage persistent symptoms and triggers.
  • 66% of participants were not readmitted to hospital.

The feedback:

  • Participants saw their mentors as examples of hope- that recovery from an eating disorder is possible.
  • Participants tended to trust the knowledge and advice of their mentors because of their lived experience.
  • Participants felt accepted and validated by their mentors.
  • Participants appreciated being able to talk openly with someone who understood their experience, but who wasn’t currently in recovery. This allowed them to talk honestly, without the fear of being triggering for the other person.

“I’ve never been more motivated to change”

“The best thing is meeting someone who has actually recovered from an ED, seeing that it is possible to live a fulfilling life and have a good relationship with food”.

“Opportunities for practical support have been the best thing about being part of mentoring program, using our sessions to do things that can help focus on recovery”.

How much does the program cost?

This is a FREE program. EDV have worked hard to secure Victorian Government funding for this program in order for it to remain free to participants. EDV strongly believe that the Peer Mentoring Program plays an important role in the continuum of care for people who receive hospital treatment for eating disorders, and therefore believe it’s important for government to support it.

How can I get invovled?

Participants

If you are an adult (18 years plus) with an eating disorder who is engaged in inpatient or intensive day program treatment and is interested in working with a peer mentor to consolidate and sustain steps towards recovery, get in touch today. Please note, there needs to have been a time period of 6 months that you have last been connected to a service.  To be considered download and complete the PMP Participant Registration Forms. All forms must be completed in order to be considered for the program. EDV will be in touch with the outcome.

Participant Registration Forms

Mentors

If you have recovered from an eating disorder and would like to apply to be a Mentor, contact EDV PMP Coordinator Rachael Duck.

Note – we are not currently recruiting for new Mentors, but are able to add you to the wait list for future intake.

Rachael Duck, EDV PMP Coordinator
1300 550 236
Rachael.duck@eatingdisorders.org.au

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