Peer Hub is a user-led community organisation based in Chester-le-Street, County Durham. We offer training and consultancy services, alongside developing user-commissioned services for our local community. With our community partners and allies, we'll be developing peer support, trauma informed spaces and advocacy services to ensure the community of Chester-le-Street have meaningful alternatives to psychiatric care when experiencing mental health problems or personal crises. As we grow, we will also nurture an intentional community to share resources, activities and ideas that prevent the root causes of mental health that are embedded in our society, such as trauma, deprivation and injustice.

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Lawyers in Lobby

Mental Health Advocacy and Human Rights

As part of our alternatives to crisis programme, we intend to develop advocacy and education services to support people to protect their rights during statutory service intervention, such as use of the Mental Health Act 1983. We're looking for people with lived experience and people with a professional interest in mental health law (including legal professionals) to join our steering group. We'll be looking at advance directives, alternative places of safety for s.136 MHA (police intervention), options for mental health advocacy on detention in pscyhiatric hospital and protections for human rights/criminal actions in psychiatric systems.

Intentional Trauma Informed Community

We're looking to collaborate with local partners and people with lived experience to develop an intentional community around trauma, mental health and non-restrictive alternatives to psychiatric treatment. We'd like to invite groups and organisations including charities, public services, businesses, community groups and community members to join us in thinking about how Peer Hub can facilitate a trauma informed community in Chester-le-Street that is intentional about helping people to be part of a community that prevents mental health problems that lead to 'crisis' and/or psychiatric detention.

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Current Projects

Alternatives to Crisis Programme 

Partnership Cafe

Friends at a Cafe

From March 2021, we'll be starting our consultation to develop a cafe-style service for people in Chester-le-Street who have life difficulties, as part of our work to prevent mental health crises. We're setting up a visioning group of people with lived experience, community partners, local charities, businesses and user-led groups/organisations.

We hope this process will lead to a local shared space for the people of Chester-le-Street to be able to come together socially and also find community supports that tackle the real problems faced by our community today. Our partnership cafe will also provide access into our crisis alternatives for those struggling with their mental health.

Non-Medical Alternatives to Psychiatric Hospitalisation

We intend to open evidence-based alternatives to psychiatric hospitalisation, including options for support at home, overnight rest, short-stay peer respites and long-stay options such as Soteria Houses. We're looking for people to collaborate with us as part of our steering group, to help us figure out which options, or combination of options, are best for our local community. If you have lived experience of psychiatric hospitalisation (or, indeed, avoiding psychiatric hospitalisation), are a carer or supporter of someone who is or has been hospitalised, are a lived experience consultant or are an allied professional with a specialism in this area, we'd be interested in hearing from you to help us design this project.

Country House
Image by Tim Marshall

We're currently applying for grant funding to get started with online and in person peer support groups, which we intend to self-fund as our training and consultancy business grows.

We can provide peer support training and support the development of volunteer facilitators immediately if you are a resident of Chester-le-Street, do not need financial support for your group and would like some help or support to set up a group from experienced peer supporters.  Please contact us to see how we can help. 

Peer Support Groups

Image by Chris Montgomery