Peer support is rapidly being introduced into mental health services internationally, yet peer support interventions are often poorly described, limiting the usefulness of research in informing policy and practice. This paper reports the development of a peer support intervention that aims to improve outcomes of discharge from inpatient to community mental health care. People with experiential knowledge of using mental health services—peer workers and service user researchers—were involved in all stages of developing the intervention: generating intervention components; producing the intervention handbook; piloting the intervention.
Systematic review and expert panels, including our Lived Experience Advisory Panel, identified 66 candidate intervention components in five domains: Recruitment and Role Description of Peer Workers; Training for Peer Workers; Delivery of Peer Support; Supervision and Support for Peer Workers; Organisation and Team. A series of Local Advisory Groups were used to prioritise components and explore implementation issues using consensus methods, refining an intervention blueprint. A peer support handbook and peer worker training programme were produced by the study team and piloted in two study sites. Feedback workshops were held with peer workers and their supervisors to produce a final handbook and training programme.
The ENRICH trial is registered with the ISRCTN clinical trial register, number ISRCTN 10043328, and was overseen by an independent steering committee and a data monitoring committee.