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Our Peer Support Workers

Petra Springall

 My journey of mental ill health and recovery has taken me (and still is) to many weird and wonderful places. I’m very grateful for this journey and the insights it has brought to my life, and also how I view the world. After a few years of tertiary study I landed here at WALSH Trust as a Peer Support worker. It is an empowering experience to be able to share and learn from each other within a supportive relationship. I value each individual’s unique story and am passionate about walking alongside a person to find their own road towards recovery and wellness.

Jana Lucas

My life experiences that have shaped me from past and present and through the highs and the lows have led me on the road to working in peer support based practice. Throughout my many years living with mental distress, I have come to a place where I have learnt that embracing wholly who I am has made my personal experiences a strength which need not hinder me in my life. The values of self-worth and acceptance along with a holistic model of health that intrinsically entwines mind and body, have been integral to my ongoing commitment to recovery in a peer based environment, walking along the same path and sharing the same experiences as my peers.This is an area of work I passionately believe in and I am committed to a strength based approach and being able to work collaboratively and effectively to realise the persons goals.

Brian McKillop

My journey, which has found me working in this rewarding field, has not been so easy but has given me the best experience in collaborative practice I could ever hope for. Studying social practice has helped me in my recovery from my own experience with a mental illness, which gave me some difficult times when it was around. I am now able to share my experience and understanding with my peers and enjoy accompanying them on their road to wellness.

Amy Brockbank It was in playing social netball with other service users that I realised that people in mental health can be really neat and lovely people. In having a good experience with workers at the DHB and a close relative that works in health, I decided to do one year’s study and work in mental health. I’m glad that my lived experience is an essential part of my work in peer support. It puts my experiences and struggles in a new light. I am happy to share the way I live my life with peers and be a part of their lives as they navigate a recovery that is uniquely theirs and inherently valuable.

Karyn Black

Hi everyone and thanks for taking the time to read this. I started working for Walsh Trust in November 2013 and have really enjoyed my time here so far. I love being part of the peer support team and really value working in such a supportive environment.

Prior to working at Walsh I completed a Bachelor of Arts while working in second hand stores along Karangahape Road. During this time I became a bit fragmented and experienced an existential crisis which lead me along some challenging paths. With any challenge there is potential for growth and learning, and I feel my 'breakdown' became a break through. I now recognise mental distress as a meaningful experience which can provide an opportunity for self-discovery. Warmest wishes, Karyn