Carer Peer Workers in Borderline Personality Services: Providing Reciprocal Understanding and Personal Strategies to Family Members

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Health and Social Care in the Community


The value that carer peer workers may offer family members with lived experience of BPD has not been investigated thoroughly to date. This study aims to investigate the unique contributions of carer peer workers in supporting family members who care for consumers with BPD. Mixed method questionnaires were completed by family members, consumers, carer peer workers, and clinicians (N = 24) at five mental health services. Qualitative responses were analysed using thematic analysis. Family members felt understood due to the personable, reciprocal approach of carer peer workers, which differentiated carer peer workers from clinicians. Carer peer workers benefitted from their role by finding purpose and found hearing about similar experiences of family members challenging. Through interactions with carer peer workers, clinicians gained insight to the carer role. This study provided evidence that carer peer workers may play a unique role in supporting family members with lived experience of BPD.

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