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by Kat Rowe | January 30, 2024

Non-clinical peer-led workshops in mental health and addiction 

Introducing PeerZone, a non-clinical mental health service offered by Stride Brisbane South,  where their commitment to fostering positive wellbeing takes centre stage.

Facilitated by a dedicated team of trained Peer Support workers with lived experience, PeerZone stands as a beacon of non-clinical mental health support, guiding participants through a recovery-based exploration of personal empowerment and stress management.

Keep reading on to find out more about PeerZone and how it empowers participants to live a resilient future.

Understanding PeerZone

Originating in New Zealand, and founded by Mary O’Hagan, the program gained new life in Australia when Brooke Red acquired the rights and licence to the program, and it has been successfully running in Australia since. 

The program consists of 20 modules, each tackling mental health and wellbeing aspects. To offer the program, Hubs must have trained facilitators who have undergone specialised PeerZone training, ensuring a deep understanding of the principles that guide this unique approach. 

Delivered by facilitators with lived experience

Currently, Stride Brisbane South stands as the exclusive location with trained facilitators, making it the sole provider of this invaluable program. The 8-12 week course, delving into one module per week, spans two hours of peer-supported sessions. Peer-led by facilitators with lived experience the program fosters an environment of mutual sharing and growth, creating a community of support. 

Unlike more clinical approaches such as Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) Lite, PeerZone focuses on a peer-based approach, allowing participants to collaboratively navigate challenges, change the narrative of their experiences, and rebuild a more positive story of their lives.

Accessing PeerZone

Access to PeerZone is facilitated through case management at the Stride Brisbane South, similar to the process for DBT. The program is offered free of charge for those under case management, aligning with Stride Mental Health’s commitment to accessible and impactful mental health services.

As part of an ongoing educational and service promotion initiative, there is a push to extend PeerZone training to other Stride Hubs across the country, making the program available to a wider audience. 

PeerZone Facilitator, Amanda Carpenter explained that recovery is not always about the destination, it is a journey and a path you can be on for the rest of your life. 

“The best part of PeerZone for me, is that it’s recovery-based and not clinical, it comes down to mutual learning in the group,” Amanda said.

“Lived experienced workers come in, not as experts, but as equals with everyone in the room. 

I feel like I can connect with everyone in the room, it gives us a mutual path. Participants of the program feel more listened to. PeerZone is an ongoing journey, providing tools to use in your toolbox.”

Your mental health matters 

At Stride, we are dedicated to providing the necessary tools and resources for our community to navigate the path towards mental health resilience. 

PeerZone stands as a testament to this commitment, offering a unique, peer-based approach that goes beyond clinical interventions. Take the first step towards a healthier and more supported you with PeerZone. Your mental wellbeing is our priority at Stride Mental Health. For more information on PeerZone or our comprehensive mental health services, please don’t hesitate to contact our team today.

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