Peer Support Training

Michael Tunnecliffe Clinical PsychologistIf you have lost an eye, or supported a child through the experience you may be interested in learning how to best support someone else who is going through the same thing.

This is called peer support. Michael Tunnecliffe, a Clinical Psychologist, has generously agreed to deliver Peer Support Training in October 2008 in Perth.

A limited number of approved participants may attend at no cost.

What is Peer Support?

Peer support is help in coping with stressful life events that is provided by someone who can directly relate to those experiences.

Most people tend to have high levels of personal resilience. In time, people are usually able to cope with stressful situations and events in their lives. However, the loss of an eye demands many personal adjustments. Only someone who have experienced that for themselves can truly relate to the experience.

The use of professional counselling is valuable and helpful to many people. However, in some places it is difficult to find these services. People may also feel uncomfortable using such a service. A useful, complementary initiative is peer support because when someone has also experienced eye loss it is often easier to accept and trust their assistance.

Where else is peer support training used?

The benefits arising from peer support programmes have become increasingly recognised by a wide range of organisations. These include emergency services, hospitals and health services and welfare agencies.

Peer support programs for individuals dealing with a life crisis have been established for amputees, cancer patients and people affected by meningitis and multiple sclerosis. The experience of these organisations has shown peer support to be highly beneficial. This is because it’s supportive in a short-term, non-judgemental minimally intrusive process.

It assists the other person in two important ways:

  • Their reactions to their situation are validated in a way which gives them an explanation for their emotions.
  • The process assists them to develop pathways to personal adjustment.

Who Should Attend?

You may attend if you have experienced eye loss in your life. Peer supporters would be volunteers who have managed the stressful demands of their own experience and are willing to assist others to cope more effectively with the more stressful aspects of their situation.

Individuals interested in becoming peer supporters apply to be part of the program and are selected based upon a set of criteria. They then undertake a one-day training course covering important aspects of the peer support role.

As the name suggests, the peer supporter offers non-intrusive “support” only and does not become a counsellor, or take on any other role inappropriate to the service being provided.

Date, Time and Location

  • Date: Saturday 18th October 2008
  • Time: 9.00am to 4.00pm
  • Location: Shenton Park


Michael Tunnecliffe, Clinical Psychologist

Michael has specialised in stress management and peer support programs since 1985. He has trained peer supporters for more than 100 organisations across Australia and New Zealand.

His work includes peer support programs for disability services, amputees and the Meningitis Centre.

Michael’s books include:

  • Emergency Support: A handbook for peer supporters
  • Victim to Survivor
  • How to Understand and Manage Stress
  • How to Manage the Stress of Traumatic Incidents
  • The Peer Support Workbook

How to Book

Use this form to send a message to Paul and Jenny and provide some information about why you would like to attend.