I'm a Peer Support Volunteer, AMA! Watch

shadowdweller
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I'm a Peer Support Volunteer, AMA!

I've been a Peer Support Volunteer since 2015, and I'm here alongside the wonderful Deyesy, BurstingBubbles, chelseadagg3r, Charlotte's Web and Interrobang to answer any questions you have about who were are, and what we do.

To give a little background, the Peer Support Volunteers, or the PSV team, send responses to users who post about self-harm and suicidal thoughts and actions, encouraging them to talk to their friends and family about what they're going through, if possible, and to seek medical help from their GP or from A&E, depending on the severity of the situation.

Alongside this, we also encourage them to talk to Samaritans and Nightline to get further support, and it is explained to them why it was necessary for us to remove or edit their posts.

In short, ask us anything you want to know about the team and what we do! You can also send me a PM if there are any queries you have that you don't feel comfortable posting about.
Last edited by shadowdweller; 2 weeks ago
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04MR17
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Do you find it scary sometimes when you see people who are in quite a dangerous place mentally and are at risk of the things you talked about?
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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Do you find it scary sometimes when you see people who are in quite a dangerous place mentally and are at risk of the things you talked about?
I don't find it scary, personally. Often the person we are supporting is the one feeling afraid, either of the situation they have found themselves in, of the future or of their own thoughts and feelings. Whilst I think it's important to empathise, I don't feel like I could fulfil my role if I felt fear.
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Deyesy
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Do you find it scary sometimes when you see people who are in quite a dangerous place mentally and are at risk of the things you talked about?
I wouldn't say scary per sé. There can be times where you do worry for the person we're talking to (we're human after all) but our role is more a signposting one. By doing our role properly, there's the hope the person will reach out to the support available and work through the position they find themselves in
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chelseadagg3r
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Do you find it scary sometimes when you see people who are in quite a dangerous place mentally and are at risk of the things you talked about?
I don't feel so much scared because I know that we're doing all we can and I have to take a bit of a step back and try not to feel responsible for the person because when that happens it can get really worrying. It can get a bit overwhelming - we are all human, but we have a really good support network ourselves between eachother
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shadowdweller
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Do you find it scary sometimes when you see people who are in quite a dangerous place mentally and are at risk of the things you talked about?
Personally I find it saddening at times, rather than scary - we're trained to signpost them to the right places, and on how to deal with the situations, so I don't think fear is that common for me, but it is still sad to see someone in such a difficult and vulnerable position, and that life is so tough for them at that moment.
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Decahedron
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I would imagine you hear plenty of stories about the lack of MH services or people not getting the support they require when requested.

So do you find yourselves getting frustrated with the lack of preventative measures or resources available to people suffering with mental health conditions?
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shadowdweller
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(Original post by Decahedron)
I would imagine you hear plenty of stories about the lack of MH services or people not getting the support they require when requested.

So do you find yourselves getting frustrated with the lack of preventative measures or resources available to people suffering with mental health conditions?
I think again for me it's sad in many ways rather than frustrating, though it can be that too. It shouldn't be the case that lots of people reach out to people like their GP, only to be put on a long waiting list for further support, but that can often be what happens. I think from my side, that's one of the reasons I'm glad we can direct people to services like Samaritans, Nightline, and Papyrus though - it's not a long term solution, but it does hopefully ease things in the interim.
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StrawberryDreams
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(Original post by shadowdweller)
I'm a Peer Support Volunteer, AMA!

I've been a Peer Support Volunteer since 2015, and I'm here alongside the wonderful Deyesy, BurstingBubbles, chelseadagg3r, Charlotte's Web and Interrobang to answer any questions you have about who were are, and what we do.

To give a little background, the Peer Support Volunteers, or the PSV team, send responses to users who post about self-harm and suicidal thoughts and actions, encouraging them to talk to their friends and family about what they're going through, if possible, and to seek medical help from their GP or from A&E, depending on the severity of the situation.

Alongside this, we also encourage them to talk to Samaritans and Nightline to get further support, and it is explained to them why it was necessary for us to remove or edit their posts.

In short, ask us anything you want to know about the team and what we do! You can also send me a PM if there are any queries you have that you don't feel comfortable posting about.
What made you decide to become a Peer Support Volunteer?
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shadowdweller
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(Original post by StrawberryDreams)
What made you decide to become a Peer Support Volunteer?
I decided to volunteer with the PSV team because I thought it was a good opportunity to help improve the safety of some of the more vulnerable members of the site. It's a role I think it important as it gives us an opportunity to refer them to people who can offer them the support they need, as well as protecting them from potential negative and hurtful comments from other users, and that's something I wanted to be able to contribute to! :yep:
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Deyesy
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(Original post by Decahedron)
I would imagine you hear plenty of stories about the lack of MH services or people not getting the support they require when requested.

So do you find yourselves getting frustrated with the lack of preventative measures or resources available to people suffering with mental health conditions?
There's certainly not enough funding in the mental health sector so yes, I guess there is an element of frustration. To put a positive spin on it though, it's part of the reason I'm part of the PSV team? I'm doing my own little bit to help with the lack of resources
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thestudent33
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(Original post by shadowdweller)
I'm a Peer Support Volunteer, AMA!

I've been a Peer Support Volunteer since 2015, and I'm here alongside the wonderful Deyesy, BurstingBubbles, chelseadagg3r, Charlotte's Web and Interrobang to answer any questions you have about who were are, and what we do.

To give a little background, the Peer Support Volunteers, or the PSV team, send responses to users who post about self-harm and suicidal thoughts and actions, encouraging them to talk to their friends and family about what they're going through, if possible, and to seek medical help from their GP or from A&E, depending on the severity of the situation.

Alongside this, we also encourage them to talk to Samaritans and Nightline to get further support, and it is explained to them why it was necessary for us to remove or edit their posts.

In short, ask us anything you want to know about the team and what we do! You can also send me a PM if there are any queries you have that you don't feel comfortable posting about.
Do you have dbs checks? And do you get paid?
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by thestudent33)
Do you have dbs checks? And do you get paid?
I'm not PSV

...but all members from Support Team and above (including PSV) undergo enhanced DBS checks.

It's a voluntary role.
Last edited by Blue_Cow; 1 week ago
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Notoriety
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What's the average delay between a thread being moved to the PSV bit of the site and the people in need getting a PSV response? Do you have a specified response time you have to meet?
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SJW-
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do u have any formal training on dealing with mh problems. if not do u think u could do more harm than good. for exmaple u can say u should see this person or talk to those ppl. when really they should be consulting someone else
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Deyesy
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(Original post by thestudent33)
Do you have dbs checks? And do you get paid?
We're volunteers and we have enhanced DBS checks untaken on us every 3 years

(Original post by Notoriety)
What's the average delay between a thread being moved to the PSV bit of the site and the people in need getting a PSV response? Do you have a specified response time you have to meet?
It's generally around 24 hours for a non-urgent post but any urgent notifications (if someone is around to reply to it) can be deal within a few minutes of the team getting the notification We do have specified response times but this can vary depending on the number of notifications we've had, how many of the team are available to reply to any notifications etc.

Hope this helps!
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quasa
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my question is, where can someone get training to provide more support to people presenting with the self-harm suicidal thoughts (like say they come asking for something but it transpires they have these thoughts / you cannot give them what they want as it can be problematic for them)?
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tesconyc
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you probably know this. why do people self harm do they enjoy the pain?
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Last edited by BurstingBubbles; 1 week ago
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shadowdweller
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(Original post by SJW-)
do u have any formal training on dealing with mh problems. if not do u think u could do more harm than good. for exmaple u can say u should see this person or talk to those ppl. when really they should be consulting someone else
We've had training from both Samaritans and Nightline - it's worth noting too that we don't directly offer advice to people on how to deal with their MH problems, instead we refer them onto services that can give them proper help and support.
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shadowdweller
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(Original post by thestudent33)
Do you have dbs checks? And do you get paid?
Yes, everyone on the PSV team is also on the Support Team, and we are DBS checked as part of that process. We're not paid, it's a voluntary role
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