Meet The Team

Updated: Jun 30

We have three new members of staff who have joined us as peer workers for our brand new service Beyond Diagnosis. We asked them a few questions so you can get to know them.


Sam


Where have you worked previously?


I've done a bit of everything over the years, from debt collection to plastering! Most recently I spent a few years managing a social care service.


What is your favourite television show to binge watch?


I've got a few old favourites I never tire of, Peep Show and I'm Alan Partridge are my top two.


Where is your favourite place to go?


I can be a bit of a homebody at times but also a huge fan of beer gardens, gigs, long drives and stargazing.


What initially drew you to the position of peer worker?


I can't remember how I came across the post, I wasn't actively job hunting but I thought it was a great opportunity to use my experiences to hopefully provide some support and hope to others.


What does “peer support” mean to you?


Peer Support to me is about meaningful conversations, the value of shared experience and the empathy and understanding that comes along with that.


Are you looking forward to working with peer volunteers?


Definitely! I'm really looking forward to getting to know all of the volunteers, everyone comes with varied experience and skills and that will make for a really great team.


What are your thoughts on the new “Beyond Diagnosis” service being launched?


Initial thoughts were that I wish something like this had been available when I was newly

diagnosed. It's an exciting time and I'm really proud to be part of it.


How crucial do you think a service like this is for those newly diagnosed with Bipolar?


I think this service will be invaluable for so many people, I'd definitely have benefitted from it when I was diagnosed. It can be an overwhelming experience and although you're surrounded by professionals at least, it can be a lonely time for people. Being able to make sense of it supported by someone who has been there could make a massive difference.


Leah



Where have you worked previously?


I've worked in quite a few different roles over the years! I was a self-employed prop maker for film, TV and theatre for about six years, and before that I was a civil engineer. I'm very glad to be settling into my new role at Bipolar Scotland now though.


What is your favourite album to listen to?


I like so many genres of music so it's either pretty much anything by Slipknot or the soundtrack to the musical Cabaret.



What do you like to do to unwind in your free time?


I have two gerbils called Hera and Artemis, and a dog called Athena, so playing with them is

always a great way to chill out.


What initially drew you to the position of peer worker?


I've done a lot of jobs over the years and what's always been missing is a feeling that I'm

helping people. I want to be able to give back some of the same support that I've received

myself over the years and peer working seemed to be an ideal way to do that. It's a service I really wish I would have had the opportunity to use when I was diagnosed.


What does “peer support” mean to you?


Peer support for me is a type of support that places no expectations on you. It's your peer,

talking you through something they've got experience with and supporting you through your

mental health journey.


Are you looking forward to working with peer volunteers?


I am so excited! I think that working with the volunteers brings such a breadth of experience to the service that it will be a huge benefit to us as peer support workers and to the people who use our service.


What are your thoughts on the new “Beyond Diagnosis” service being launched?


I wish it had been around when I was newly diagnosed! When I first heard about the idea for the service I was so excited, because I think it's a wonderful idea. Now that I'm actually on board and it's going to be a reality I'm even more looking forward to being a part of it.


How crucial do you think a service like this is for those newly diagnosed with Bipolar?


The time after being diagnosed was, for me at least, a really difficult and confusing experience. I think that having someone to talk to who's gone through the same issue and come out the other side would have been an incredible boost.


Richard




Where have you worked previously?


I was recently working in London as a picture framer, and I worked for SAMH a few years ago. I am also a self-employed artist specialising in oil painting.


In your opinion, what’s the best film ever made?


Some Like it Hot


What do you like to do to relax?


I go to my studio and paint abstract paintings. Loads of colour and textures.


What initially drew you to the position of peer worker?


I had done a similar role in the past and got so much out of it that I wanted to help people get back on track again.


What does “peer support” mean to you?


For me Peer Support means empathy and someone recently diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder

realising that they are not alone anymore in their struggle.


Are you looking forward to working with the peer volunteers?


I am very much looking forward to working with Peer Volunteers and getting to know them and their specialties so I can get them involved with my peers.


What are your thoughts on the new “Beyond Diagnosis” service being launched?


I am so excited about working in the new Beyond Diagnosis service as I feel that recently

diagnosed peers could have experienced trauma and a great deal of stress and this

would be the perfect time for them to have our input in helping them cope with the ups and

downs of Bipolar Disorder.


How crucial do you think a service like this is for those diagnosed with Bipolar?


I feel that for someone recently diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, this new service is so crucial to their recovery and will help them feel less isolated and more able to cope with the illness. Being able to talk weekly to us about living with Bipolar Disorder and learning from our experiences both positive and negative would help reduce a peer's recovery period and give him/her the support that they need.


Anything else you would like to add?


I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 29 years ago, and I wish that Peer Support existed back then as I would have gained a great deal of knowledge and wisdom from a Peer Support Worker and would have had someone on my wavelength able to help me during what was a very traumatic time for me.


By Holly McCormack



180 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All