Expert by Experience
Thank you for your interest in becoming an Expert by Experience in Norfolk & Waveney!
Here is a little more information to give you a clear understanding of the role:
What is an Expert by Experience?
As the title suggests, Experts by Experience are people who have had their own experiences of depression or anxiety and are keen to share their insights and understanding with others to help them in their recovery. The ‘expert’ bit means we have a deep understanding of our own experiences not that we are experts in the field of mental health. The reason sharing our stories is so essential is because it offers others hope that recovery is possible, they hear ideas that get them thinking about their own recovery and most importantly they begin to see they aren’t alone.
Who makes an ideal Expert by Experience?
In short, anyone who is willing to share their story and insights! Everyone’s experiences are different but the main aim of the role is to support and encourage others to think about how they could begin to shape their recovery. There are a few elements that are essential to the role:
- You must feel confident in sharing your story with people you probably don’t know
- Your story and insights should be representative of your experience and be hopeful
- You are in a place where you can talk about your experiences without it feeling distressing
Training and Support
This is an immensely rewarding role that can and often does change people’s lives and although it may seem a relatively simple process we want to make sure you feel supported and trained so you can get the most out of your new role.
We will train you in recovery-focused work so you understand why this role is so essential when helping people recover. We will train you in how to formulate your story into a tool you can use to promote recovery practices in a way that feels right for you (this could be written, a talk, a video etc.). You will also be trained in professional boundaries so you feel confident in your role and the level of responsibility it holds.
After your training, and only when you feel totally confident, we’ll get to work. You will decide how many hours you can offer the service and during this time you will share your story with small groups of people whilst being supported by a member of the team (called a Local Associate Coordinator). You will not be responsible for managing or running the group nor will you be expected to provide any counselling or therapeutic support to people.
We hope this feels like an exciting and interesting opportunity to you!
If you have any more questions please do get in contact.