Marsh Award for Mental Health Peer Support: Peer Support in Marginalised Groups

These Awards are run in partnership with Mind and wider Peerfest partners and recognise excellence in peer led support for those experiencing mental health problems.

Peer support happens when people work together, or support each other, from their lived experience. It can take place informally and formally, in all sorts of settings such as in user led organisations, projects, support groups and in the workplace.  It means different things to different people. It may also be called self help, befriending/wellbeing groups, meet ups, or mentoring. It also can take place online through digital means.

This Award recognises those working with specific or hard to reach groups of people.

Nominations for the Award are judged by an independent panel of people with peer support expertise, others with lived experience, and representatives from Peerfest partner organisations.

Mindful Mums and Central London OCD Support Group 2018

Mindful Mums, Bromley

The group provides emotional support to women during the perinatal period (pregnancy and the first year following the birth of a child). The Mindful Mums walking group has been particularly successful, enabling expectant and new mothers to connect with others with similar experiences. The walking group meets once a week in Crystal Palace and the sessions encourage regular exercise, sharing of mutual experiences, and development of social connections during pregnancy and in the first year after birth. The average attendance is between 25-30 women. The group is organised by two volunteers, who have experience of feeling stressed, low, anxious or have struggled with their own mental or emotional well-being during the perinatal period, and wanted to give something back to other women.

Central London OCD Support Group

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is one of the most common mental disorders, affecting about 1-2% of the population. For some, the effects can be debilitating. The Central London OCD Support Group was set up in 2005 with the belief that peer support can dramatically improve the mental well-being of people with OCD. The group is open to anyone over 18 who has OCD or a related disorder, and their family and friends. They meet once a fortnight, addressing a wide range of topics relating to OCD. Individual members identify, and are supported to achieve, certain goals, helping them to move forward in their lives. The group has helped hundreds of Londoners feel less alone with their OCD, encouraged them to seek treatment and helped to fill gaps in professional services.