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PEER SUPPORT GROUPS FOR ADULTS - FIVE FREE OPTIONS
Come together in a supportive, safe, and hope-focused environment.

Anxiety NZ Peer Support Groups are funded for people based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. 

To find out more about community groups outside of Auckland, click here

All Peer Group Facilitators are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

If you’d like to find out about having 1:1 therapy with a Psychologist (in addition or instead of joining a Peer Group) you can find out more by visiting Therapeutic Services.

SOCIAL ANXIETY PEER SUPPORT GROUP - SATURDAYS

A small and safe group supporting those who experience social anxiety or social phobia. 

An excellent opportunity to learn and practice new skills in a supported space.

Every second Saturday 3:30pm - 5:00pm

Self-referral or health professional referral required

Location: Anxiety NZ Trust, 77 Morningside Drive, St Lukes.

 

SOCIAL ANXIETY PEER SUPPORT GROUP - WEDNESDAYS

Fun, friendship, sharing and understanding in a safe and supportive environment. 

Fortnightly Wednesdays 5:00pm - 7.00pm.

Self-referral or health professional referral required

Location:  Anxiety NZ Trust, 77 Morningside Drive, St Lukes.

 

GENERAL PEER SUPPORT GROUP -THURSDAYS

Fun, friendship, sharing and understanding in a safe and supportive environment. 

Facilitated by a registered psychologist

Fortnightly Thursdays 6:00pm - 8:00pm.

Self-referral or health professional referral required

Location:  Anxiety NZ Trust, 77 Morningside Drive, St Lukes.

 

BALANCE PEER SUPPORT GROUP - THURSDAYS

A safe space for women with anxiety to meet and have meaningful conversations in a confidential and supportive environment. Components of the meetings include psychoeducation, sharing experiences, practical strategies and resources.

Facilitated by two peer group facilitators

Fortnightly Thursday 6:00pm - 8:00pm.

Self-referral or health professional referral required

Location: Anxiety NZ Trust, 77 Morningside Drive, St Lukes. 

 

NORTHSHORE PEER SUPPORT GROUP - THURSDAYS

A gender inclusive group meeting in-person in Takapuna, on the North Shore, Auckland. The aim is to provide a safe and supportive space to connect with others, share experiences, and learn practical skills to manage anxiety. Facilitated by two peer group facilitators

Held fortnightly on Thursdays at 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Self-referral or health professional referral required

Location: Takapuna, Auckland.


FAQs about Peer Support Services
What is Peer Support?

Peer Support may be defined as the help and support that people with lived experience of mental distress are able to give to one another. It may be social, emotional or practical support but importantly this support is mutually offered and reciprocal, allowing peers to benefit from the support whether they are giving or receiving it. Non-judgemental and personal. Key elements of Peer Support in mental health include that it is built on shared personal experience and empathy, it focuses on an individual’s strengths not weaknesses, and works towards the individual’s wellbeing and recovery.

What is a Peer Support Group?

It is a non-clinical intervention for people experiencing mental distress (or other condition or issue) and based on a formal therapeutic relationship between peers (people who have experienced similar adversity). Our peer support group are regular gatherings of people with lived experience of anxiety.

One or two trained peer support specialists, who may be psychologists, help to facilitate and all groups are generally held every two weeks. Group members share with one another about their experiences, struggles and challenges. The support group may act as an anchor as people focus developing skills to live well. A peer support group can help to free people from self-stigma and normalise the range of feelings and challenges that people experience, in a safe, supported and hope-focused environment.

What happens in Peer Support?

Grounded in the belief that people are their own greatest resource and that adverse life experiences can be sources of resilience and knowledge. 

  • Draws on a shared understanding of recovery. 
  • Focuses on what will sustain recovery – employment, reconnection with family/whānau, achievement and purposeful activities, as well as being included in communities. 
  • Instils hope by being with someone who has been there and ‘through it’. 
  • Not about ‘fixing things’ but building on strengths.
What are the benefits of Peer Support?
  • A sense of connection and participation 
  • Increased self-esteem and self-confidence 
  • A sense of purpose 
  • A greater sense of wellbeing, including less symptom distress 
  • Increases in the quality and number of relationships – greater social support network 
  • Longer periods of wellbeing 
  • Increased involvement in meaningful activities 
  • Increased resilience and quality of life 
  • Increased motivation to implement life changes.
What Peer Groups do you offer?

There are currently four Peer Support Groups on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays for people aged 18 years +. You must be a resident of Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau.

What does it cost?

Our Peer Support Groups are provided for free. They are a DHB funded service provided by Anxiety NZ Trust.

How to join

Peer Group referrals are welcomed from people aged 18 years and over, living in Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland, who are eligible for publicly funded healthcare, and who are experiencing anxiety. A formal diagnosis of an anxiety disorder isn’t required. You can visit Getting publicly funded health services | New Zealand Government (www.govt.nz) to find out more. To refer you can visit Referrals | Anxiety NZ for information on referring to the Peer Group.

Before joining the group a Triage Lead will get in touch to arrange a time to talk with you, to answer questions about the group, check-in with how you are feeling, and help to identify if a peer group environment would be appropriate and a helpful next step for you. If the group of choice is full we may offer for you to go on a waiting list until a space becomes available. A Peer Group facilitator will then be in touch to help welcome you to group.

If you join the group, there will be a consent form to read and agree to and sign and there are some group conduct guidelines to help keep it a safe, confidential and helpful space for all members. Anxiety NZ also submits coded, confidential demographic data to the Ministry of Health. This includes smoking/vaping, housing, education, caregiver and support status, and if a wellbeing plan in place. If you don’t have a wellbeing plan we can help you with one. Every 6 months we will ask about changes in these areas.

Leaving the group:

If you would like to finish your Peer Group experience or can no longer come to the group regularly please let us know. We may be able to assist with a referral to other services or connecting you with resources to help maintain your health and wellbeing. If someone is unable to come for three groups in a row (unless otherwise arranged) we will make that space available for another person to join in their place. There is no limitation on how long a person can be in the group for and previous group members are welcome to get in touch about re-joining in the future.

Feedback from Peer Support Group members

“Anxiety NZ’s Peer Support Group helps to keep me connected with the things I value. One of the best things is truly knowing I’m never alone in how I feel. Making time for activities that have a positive impact on my health and wellbeing has made a huge difference to how I feel”.


“I was pretty nervous and it was a big effort to get myself to the first group. For ages I felt a huge amount of anxiety around other people and mostly just avoided social stuff where I could. This made Uni, work, and making friends that weren’t online, really tough. In the group I learnt so much about getting my mental wellbeing in shape and why my social anxiety was trying to help me out – but doing it in an unhelpful way!  


"I did work hard to actually practice the skills my peers recommended and they do work! Now I work with my anxiety, and make it work for me, so I’m doing the things I actually want to do, and avoiding much less stuff. I highly recommend being brave and getting support.”