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Waiheke Peer Support

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Waiheke Peer Support is a consumer run mental health support group which was formed in July 2006. The group has been set up by service-users (consumers/tangata whai ora) who are able to draw on their own experience to support others. The group places value on each person's own recovery choices. The group believes everyone has a right to be free from discrimination and abuse and to be valued and supported by our communities and to be part of those communities.

Each week the group meets socially at the Lazy Lounge and on some Saturdays a stall at the Ostend Market provides an opportunity to raise funds by selling recyclables. The funds raised in this way have been used for a range of activities, including holding the popular Laughter Yoga workshops at Palm Beach Hall, creative writing workshops with Mike Johnson, drumming workshops with Kiran, performance poetry, singing, drama and making music generally.

In 2009 the group began working with art tutor Bridget Oakley-Stevens, and this art group meets at the former Malana House on most Tuesdays at 11am.

The group worked with Anu Grace and Anaia Treefoot during 2008 and performed a concert 'Paradise Rocks' in October 2008 which was funded by Creative Communities of Auckland City Council. In 2010, the group again worked with Anu Grace to produce a concert in remembrance of Liz Gibson who died in 2009.

The group now broadcasts in partnership with Framework Trust, a weekly show on Waiheke Radio called 'Out of the Blue', which focusses on mental health issues, tips on achieving and preserving good mental health, and the wholistic nature of wellbeing. The show is co-hosted by Sheldon Brown, Rocky Rhodes and David Basham.

The current core group includes Rocky Rhodes (7605) and Rod Davis (6688). Support has been received during the establishment phase from WISH Trust, Framework Community Support service and the Living Waters Community .

On 3rd December 2007, the group took delivery of a Toyota van given away free by Waiheke resident Rob Vaassen.

Networks have been established with the Regional Consumer Network and within the mental health sector.