Letters to my peers: an autoethnographical approach to a mental health peer worker experience

Masters Thesis


Guaresi, Elizabeth Anne. 2020. Letters to my peers: an autoethnographical approach to a mental health peer worker experience. Masters Thesis Master of Applied Research. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/B51R-CC96
Title

Letters to my peers: an autoethnographical approach to a mental health peer worker experience

TypeMasters Thesis
Authors
AuthorGuaresi, Elizabeth Anne
SupervisorGorman, Don
Ross, Cheryl
Burton, Lorelle
Palmer, Jane
Duff, Diane
Carey, Melissa
Watkins, Melissa
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameMaster of Applied Research
Number of Pages194
Year2020
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/B51R-CC96
Abstract

A mental health peer worker (MHPW) is one who shares their journey of recovery from mental health issues or illness in order to inspire another person on their recovery journey. This relatively new discipline of mental health is becoming more widely accepted; however, there is little research detailing the MHPW experience. This qualitative research study used autoethnography to describe the lived experience of a MHPW working in a rural area of Queensland. Introspection, sociological imagination, and reflexive writing methods, are used by the researcher to convey what the MHPW is experiencing, from the emotions encountered to the fear of exposing vulnerabilities. This research study explores the actions, thought processes, and decisions made by a MHPW peer whilst assisting individuals who they are supporting on their recovery journey to better mental health in order to answer the research question: ‘What is the lived experience of a mental health peer worker?’ This research examines the process used to build working relationships, how their relationship differs to that of other mental health workers, and the contribution of MHPW to the recovery process for people with mental health concerns.

KeywordsAutoethnography, Mental Health Peer work, Peer, Relationships, Connection, Shared experiences
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420313. Mental health services
Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
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https://research.usq.edu.au/item/q656q/letters-to-my-peers-an-autoethnographical-approach-to-a-mental-health-peer-worker-experience

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Related outputs

Lessons from the Field: An Autoethnographic Account of a Mental Health Peer Worker
Guaresi, Elizabeth Anne and Carey, Melissa. 2022. "Lessons from the Field: An Autoethnographic Account of a Mental Health Peer Worker." The Ethnographic Edge. 5 (1).