From facilitator feedback, we know that one of the most difficult tasks in starting peer support is contacting people to arrange the first session. It’s worth spending a little time thinking about how to make this as easy as possible.
- Try not to be disheartened when people you contact are no longer interested in taking part. We have found that this is entirely normal. This is why it is important to build up a lot of interest from people before commencing groups.
- Once people have been contacted they usually want their group to start quickly. People can lose interest if there are long delays.
- We recommend contacting people by telephone. It is more effective than e-mailing. Not only are e-mails easy to miss or be flagged as spam, they are also easy to ignore, so facilitators may not know whether the peer has not seen your e-mail.
- Contacting people by telephone initially may be difficult, especially if you are not keen on talking over the phone. Our advice is to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway!’ – it will be easier than you think.
You might find it useful to keep a record of telephone/e-mail contacts. We have produced a sheet you can use here.