People who experienced a mental crisis are involved in providing care for others who face psychiatric hospitalization. The idea of peer workforce has been developed mostly in American and European behavioral health systems. Similar program is implemented to Polish mental health care. The purpose of the study was to find out if candidates for peer support workers with different levels of subjective well-being differed also in terms of general self-efficacy and in the ways of coping with stress.
As the problem has not been studied before exploratory study was conducted. The study covered a group of 72 subjects, 46 women and 26 men, aged 21–62 years (M = 41.43; SD = 10.37), former psychiatric patients, preparing for a peer worker role. We used the following questionnaires: Ryff’s Psychological Well-Being (PWB) Scales, in the Polish adaptation by Krok, the General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSES) by Schwarzer and Jerusalem, in adaptation by Schwarzer, Jerusalem and Juczyński and Brief-COPE by Carver, in adaptation by Juczyński and Ogińska-Bulik.
The results of cluster analysis pointed to the existence of two groups of individuals with significantly different levels of subjective well-being. Then MANOVA was used. It was determined that individuals with a higher level of well-being were characterized by a higher level of self-efficacy, a higher tendency to use positive reframing strategy and propensity towards active behavior when coping with stress, as well as by a lower propensity towards self-blaming and behavioral disengagement.
The study demonstrates that further empirical explorations are justified. The results also encourage a search for some more possible conditions of well-being. It would be advisable to train candidates for mental health peer workers by focusing on the strengthening of their subjective well being and developing active forms of coping with stress.