Interview with David Meineke
David Meineke (DM) is a peer support worker in Ulm. In this interviews he talks about his experience with peer support work so far.
Why did you become a peer support worker?
DM: I think everybody needs a task. I couldn’t get a foothold in my old profession anymore, it was too much for me and so I heard about the UPSIDES project, it sounded nice.
What do you like most about your work?
DM: I don’t have a client yet, but I think the meetings with the other peer support workers are great. The training at UPSIDES was exhausting, but it also brought me a lot. It was good for me that we talked a lot in the group and wrote reflections about our tasks as peer support workers, and what is important and good for you. I also found the UPSIDES principles important, how I deal with the clients, for example that differentiation is also important.
What are the benefits of peer support in addition to psychiatric care? Why is peer support work important?
DM: Very important, for example the basis in peer support is that you are on an equal basis with the other person. I think peer support just fills a gap. As a peer support worker you can easily understand what is going on with the other person. At eye level means that you understand each other better. A doctor learns it at school and peer support worker learns it by living it in real life, how to deal with crises and how we can help others.
What do you wish for the future?
DM: In any case, I would like the peer support to continue after the UPSIDES intervention and for it to be offered in other institutions. I am from Ulm and I could imagine peer support there. For myself, I wish that I can hold out and stay healthy.
Conducted by Maria Haun on 16/03/20