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


Peer Zone for those in mental distress

PeerZone Workshops are a series of up to 20 three-hour peer-led workshops for people who experience mental distress and addiction.


The workshops provide a fun, interactive and safe structure for participants to share their experiences, learn self-management and expand their horizons.


Peer Zone was developed by Mary O’Hagen and Sarah Weir Cook in 2012 in the Wellington area to enhance recovery and wellbeing in people who participate.

The workshops address a range of different issues from addictions right through to managing hearing voices.

The workshops have been designed to cater for people from 18 years and older.


To make it a safe and fun environment some ground rules are discussed before every workshop. These include respect for each other, what is shared in the group stays in the group, we are all equals and we get to choose about how much or little we take part in.

What makes the workshops great is that everyone with mental distress can experience recovery and that telling their stories helps in recovery.

Our Recovery Team at Pou Whakaaro has been running the Peerzone program on a fortnightly basis at Pou Whakaaro House, 1 Bracken Street.

There are more than 20 workshops, and participants are invited to attend a workshop that would be beneficial to their recovery.

The groups are small, interactive and confidential. The participants get the opportunity to share their experiences, learn new skills and socialise with like-minded people.


The workshops are designed in a manner that everyone can participate and learn coping skills.


The group starts at 9.30 am on a Friday and could go on as long as 11.00 am. Coffee tea and muffins are available for attendees.

Pou Whakaaro | Mental Health & Disability Support

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