Target Group - People with disabilities caused by mental health issues
- People with disabilities caused by mental health issues who want to work
- People who need support on the development of personal autonomy. Those people are the clients of the service
- Unemployed people with disabilities caused by mental health issues who, once trained on the participants profile and on the “peer support” methodology, will access to different job positions
- People with disabilities who would like to help as a volunteer in promoting the autonomy and who will be trained with the described methodologies
Every person in a situation of dependence can be elected to become a part of this project; though special attention will be paid to the people with disabilities caused by mental health issues, for both being a client of this service and helping working as a professional personal assistant or as a volunteer.

The target group will be aged over 18. 
“PEER2PEER” has as main objective to create employment for people with mental health issues. To achieve this, we plan to set up an agency of personal assistants, named ‘PEER2PEER’ and managed through a web platform.

Main objectives:
-        to create high-quality job for people with severe and prolonged mental health conditions
-        to improve the quality of life of people with mental health conditions and/or in a situation of dependence through the support given by the personal assistants
-        to develop a new action line on the personal attendance activity through the implementation of the agency ‘PEER2PEER’
-        the development of the personal assistant figure in  Castile-Leon
-        to be a professional support to the people on a dependence situation
-        to train workers and volunteers on the “peer support” methodology
-        to develop a web platform which supports the management of the agency ‘PEER2PEER’
-        to involve volunteers in the project in order to back the support processes to the people that ask for them

We all need to keep company and also to be accompanied; precisely in order to be a person we all need from supports, in a larger or smaller extent. Our proposal is to use an outstanding technique for the provision of support: the human being as the most innovative, flexible, versatile and adaptable to other people’s needs technology; and the use of new technologies to manage the supports available for people. 

‘PEER2PEER’ has 3 milestones: 
A)      the management of the service  ‘PEER2PEER’; a service of personal assistance provided by people with or without disability, professionally or as volunteers, that has been trained on the personal assistant profile and on the “peer support” methodology
B)      the training of people with disability as personal assistants through individual training courses, professionally or as volunteers
C)      the development of this innovative on-line web platform for services and users, named SUGUS, which allows comunication and direct immediate interaction between those already mentioned and their attendants and also the access to all the services of the agency, as well as the settlement of an space where to develop preventive actions

Through ‘PEER2PEER, we expect to reach the following outcomes:

Employment outcomes:
The creation of 11 new jobs in 2015, all of them part time:
-        1 coordinator of the service (50% part time)
-        2 support workers (25% part time)
-        8 personal assistants (50% part time)
Moreover, it is foreseen to create at least 5 new working positions during 2016.

Pedagogical outomes:
-        2 training specialities designed and provided: Perssonal Assintant and Support Services
-        20 trainees formed, 12 especialized on personal assistance and 8 on support services
-        40 hours of personal support

The INNOVATION  of the “PEER TO PEER” experience lies on its conception of the service and its management :
 The personal assistant figure itself is very innovative in the autonomous community of Castile-Leon; the only region that is broadly considering this figure, at any degree of dependence, being compatible with any other assistance and applied to all fields.

- ‘PEER2PEER’wants to contribute to transforming the reality of people with mental distress, by changing their point of view and one that the society has about them. The transforming effect that this project wants to achieve is that they become the main actors of their actions, responsible of managing their lives, so they will not be anymore merely beneficiaries of public health assistance.

- A web platform is being developed with the purpose of allowing the communication and active interaction between the citizens and the agency, so they will encourage and optimize its health and provide an access to its services and social assistance, and also to provide a framework where to undertake preventive actions.
- ‘PEER2PEER’ wants to guarantee social participation so, accordingly, the Project will create a self-managed service, run by people with mental disabilities (PMD) and design a methodology focused on their development. This methodology will be based on the model ‘ClubHouse’, which will focus on their strenghts and skills, rather than on the mental health issue.

These jobs require people with a specific qualification profile, which is something innovative in the field PM). Usually, when a job is done by PMD is a low-skilled job and this has nothing in common with the ones that this project will develop.

This platform, and this entrepreunership itself, could be transferred and developed by other health care organisations, or by other intermediary organisations that would act as an interface binding care workers and the citizens in an integrated process. 

Staff and Resources



The development of peer2peer support with people with mental illness was originally conceived with partners from Austria, Romania, Bulgaria and the Netherlands. Organisations from 5 countries joined efforts to develop a training programme and test it with people mentally ill in their countries. The project received prizes from a very well-known newspaper in the region (Norte de Castilla) and a bank (Kutxabank).

Estimated staff for the training:
-        3 teachers preparing and delivering the course
-        2 job coaches with an hourly capacity of 40 hours to each trainee individually

Estimated staff for the Agency:
-        1 agency coordinator graduated in Vocational Education and Training, working part time
-        5 personal assistants (personnel)
-        1 manager and consultant          
-        1 support personnel 25%
-        10 personal assistants; hired workers
-        10 personal assistants; volunteers

-        An establishment available for the participants
-        Repairs and conservation           

Resources: Teaching materials with which editing 3 manuals about the training profiles. Rental of equipment (a projector, screens and specific equipments for the specialties).
Duration: The stimated time required to launch the agency and the trainings is two years. Then, the agency will be runned just like the other services in the Foundation, it will be self-managed and sustainable.

The estimated expenses budget is 119.816,34 €. 

Contact /more information
Name:     Teresa Orihuela Villameriel
Email address :

Other details: