The Centre of Excellence in Peer Support (CEPS) provides a centralised specialist clearinghouse and online resource centre for mental health peer support. It was set up in response to the growing interest in and recognition of peer support work, for both consumers and families/carers. A collaborative project, CEPS aims to support a sustainable peer support sector by providing linkage, service mapping and information-sharing. It is intended for use by consumers, families/carers, peer support workers, community mental health organisations, NGOs and individuals who provide or want to provide peer support. It was launched in June 2011.
The Centre of Excellence was established by seven project partners: ARAFEMI (lead agency),The Compassionate Friends (TCF), Eating Disorders Victoria (EDV), Post and Antenatal Depression Association (PANDA), Action Disability Ethnicity Community (ADEC), Anxiety Recovery Centre Victoria (ARCVic) and GROW. In December 2013, ARAFEMI merged with Mind Australia, and the CEPS project is now housed by Mind.
Specifically, the project aims to:
- Reduce the burden on existing peer support agencies of responding to requests;
- Increase the capacity of individuals and services to utilise best practice in the development, implementation, ongoing management, evaluation and review of peer support services;
- Promote sustainable practice and encourage community participation in responding to mental health issues;
- Reduce ad hoc and unsupported service development;
- Increase potential peer support network linkages to assist planned service development;
- Provide practical information and support.
The establishment of this website and the Centre of Excellence in Peer Support was funded by a grant from the William Buckland Foundation, managed by the ANZ Trustees. Ongoing support is now fully provided by Mind Australia.