IP.Global Cafe 24 May 2023

Global Cafe – The benefits with Peer support workers (PSWs) experience-based expertise and interprofessional learning 🗓

The benefits with Peer Support Workers (PSWs) experience-based expertise and interprofessional learning

Date and Time: 24 May 2023, 9:00 am in UK (10:00 am in Sweden)

Co-sponsored by NipNet

Host & Moderator: Maria Kvarnström


Peer Support Workers (PSWs) are people that have personal experience of mental health challenges and recovery. PSWs have been employed to, by using experience-based expertise, support service-users’ recovery in mental health care in UK. Also, in Sweden the PSWs have been started to be employed in mental health care. Julie Repper, director of ImROC, UK, provides an introduction and definition of peer support and the evidence about the impact of peer support. Tuija Viking, PhD student in Education with work-integrated learning, University West, Sweden, presents research of how PSWs give fuel for interprofessional learning (IPL) in mental health care teamwork.


The speakers present research with different focus. Repper has contributed with extensive research of PSWs (e.g., Perkins & Repper, 2022). The employment of PSWs in mental health services has been shown to improve the recovery of people using services, the recovery of the PSW and the recovery focus of the service in UK (Repper et al., 2013). Viking has, in Swedish mental health care, noticed the IPL potential when PSWs convey a psychosocial perspective that complements staff’s biomedical perspective (Viking et al., 2022a; Viking et al., 2022b; Viking & Nilsson, 2022). Therefore, Viking, by using a learning focus, presents research that was conducted in Sweden, whilst Repper, by using a care focus, presents research that was conducted in UK.

Julie Repper, ImROC Director

Julie has been director of ImROC since 2015 and before that was a senior consultant for ImROC from its conception. Julie has worked in mental health services for more than 40 years, as a nurse, manager, researcher/research lead and Recovery lead. She has held joint posts for most of her career, combining work as a lecturer, senior/principal lecturer, associate and visiting professor with work in practice.

Julie has also been a trustee of several user led charities and has used mental health services on and off since she was 19 years old. It is these experiences that have informed and driven her commitment to improving the lives of people with mental health conditions.

Julie has published extensively, co-edited the Journal of Mental Health and Social Inclusion, and set up the MSc in Recovery and Social Inclusion at Nottingham University. She now co-leads ImROC with a particular focus on strategy, innovation, and research, and provides bespoke recovery focused consultancy to services, organizations and systems nationally and internationally.

Tuija Viking, PhD student

Tuija Viking is a PhD student in Education with specialization in work-integrated learning, at University West, Sweden. Her research area is interprofessional learning in teamwork.


  • The evidence about of the impact of peer support in mental health care. (Repper – 15 minutes)
  • How PSWs facilitate interprofessional learning in mental health care teamwork. (Viking – 15 minutes)
  • Group discussion of the challenges and potential with PSWs in mental health care and IPL (20 minutes)


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