Our recovery team at Bracken Street offer support to people with an experience of mental illness and/or addiction issues to be valued members of their chosen community in a number of ways.

  • One on one & group peer support

  • Advocacy

  • Information & referral to other services

  • PeerZone workshops

  • Meetings and events (guest speakers)

  • 'Lived experience' support

  • Smoking advice & cessation support

Peer led workshops in mental health and addiction. 

The workshops are designed to help people understand their mental health and addictions and how they can move forward in a positive way.

Weekly visits to

Ward 8 to offer

peer support and



Hi everyone, I am Johan Nel, a Peer Support worker. I was born in South Africa and moved to beautiful New Zealand 10 years ago. I have worked in many occupations including building, hospitality, but mostly as a restaurant chef.


Three years ago I decided that I want to give back to the community and therefore went to university at the age of 33 to gain qualifications to help people . I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Social Science majoring in Psychology with a minor in social policy. 


Toward the end of January, 2019 I started working for Pou Whakaaro as a Peer Support and Advocacy worker while I work towards my Masters in Psychology. I am looking forward to helping those on their recovery journey

Pou Whakaaro Peer Support and Advocacy worker Johan Nel

MENS GROUP: Fortnightly gatherings

Men's Peer Support group fishing

Fishing at the beach

Our Peer Support Men’s Group enjoy an activity of their choice on a Friday afternoon.  Fishing has proven to be a popular activity with the group.

Contact our Pou Whakaaro for Recovery team by phoning 308 9430 and speak to our co-ordinator today if you would like to find out about how Pou Whakaaro can help you with your recovery journey. 

If you would like to find out more about  our fortnightly gatherings check out our Courses & Events page below.

Pou Whakaaro | Mental Health & Disability Support

40 Te Tahi Street, Whakatane | 07 308 8170  |  admin@pouwhakaaro.co.nz