Balance Aotearoa

  • Whanganui, New Zealand

Balance Aotearoa provides mental health and addiction peer support, advocacy, consultancy, and education that enables people to improve their relationships and wellbeing. Our contracts fund us to serve those with significant mental health and addiction struggles who live in the community (both urban and rural setting) and those who find themselves in acute psychiatric and forensic inpatient settings. We have an open-door policy and accept anyone who identifies themselves as needing support.

Our peer support service kaupapa is summarised as “enabling tāngata whai ora to create and maintain a life worth living”. Balance Aotearoa (formerly known as Balance Whanganui) has operated since the mid 1990's and has its origins in mutual self-help support groups for people experiencing mood disorders. We now focus upon people who experience any form of mental distress."

We meet people where they are at and work with them in whatever way they find most helpful. All our work is guided by our tāngata whai ora, as we form intentional peer relationships exploring together ways to wellbeing and empowerment. We steer away from being the experts, and avoid rescuing, correcting, and advising, instead we aim to listen and understand, to share our experience as relevant, offer hope and model healthy relationships.

Peer support can happen in any environment when people are willing to connect and engage.