Peer Support

We offer several 'Peer Services' here at Connect Supporting Recovery.

Those who have experience of mental health and/or addictions issues are known as ‘peers’. Our Peer Support Workers are trained using the Intentional Peer Support (IPS) Model. IPS is about conversation and creating new knowledge through dialogue. It is the art of connection: with ourselves, the people in our lives and the people on the planet we may think we have nothing in common with. It is not another practice that presumes to have the answers but instead, it aims to generate good questions.

Check out our peer services below.

Community Support

Reach Out

Reach Out Peer Support is a mobile service supporting people in their recovery from mental health issues. All the team have their own personal experiences of mental health trauma and recovery.

We work in partnership with those accessing the service to explore ways that will facilitate individual recovery.

We build a connection and some trust, and get the chance to collaboratively build a plan. We don’t want to spend time doing assessments, we want to focus on getting to know each other.

Recovery starts with hope...even the slightest glimmer! Recovery in Peer Support comes through seeing ourselves as people, rather than as ‘mental health patients’. It’s about building relationships where new information and knowledge can emerge and where each person can start moving towards the life they choose.

Anyone currently using Waitemata Adult Mental Health Services in the North Shore or Rodney districts can request Peer Support. Reach Out does not take referrals from clinicians but rather from a Peer self-referring to us. 

Contact Reach Out's Team Manager for more information:

Mahi Marumaru

Mahi Marumaru, also known as Peer Support AOD, is a mobile peer service supporting people recover from alcohol and other drug-related issues. The English translation for Mahi Marumaru is ‘many people working together'. All Peer Support Workers have their own lived experience of addiction and personal journey of recovery.

Anyone aged 18-65 living in the Counties Manukau District Health Board area is eligible for this service. We prefer self-referrals but will accept introductions from clinicians, other services and family. 

Phone: 09 2635923 

Contact Mahi Marumaru's Team Manager for more information:

Phone Line

Peer Talk

Peer Talk is a relatively new service that connects people in need of mental health support with Peer Support Workers over the phone. It is one of a number of helpline services that constitute the National Telehealth Service. It is run in collaboration with Homecare Medical. They provide all the
facilities of the call centre whilst we provide Peer Support Workers to man the phones. These staff are also part of the Reach Out Peer Support Service. Peer Talk is an effective way to overcome some of the barriers that make it difficult for people to access mental health care, namely distance and cost. This free phone-based counselling service makes it easier for those in need to get help.

At this stage, Peer Talk is available to everyone in the Counties Manukau District Health Board area, Monday to Friday, 5pm to midnight. 

Phone: 0800 234 432

Contact Peer Talk's Team Manager for more information:

Residential Support

Piri Pono

Piri Pono is a 5-bed residential, acute alternative to hospitalisation. Peer led, it is staffed with both nurses and support workers, making it a rare and special combination. Piri Pono in English means to be loyal, faithful and devoted — an allegiance. The name reflect our practice — a respite home that encourages people to pull together with a focus on independent living and building relationships.

Piri Pono is available to those experiencing extreme mental distress who have been assessed by the Rodney Adult Mental Health Services. Guests are able to stay for up to 10 days in a homelike, personalised environment with a holistic approach to wellness. 

Phone: 09 4267404

Contact Piri Pono's Team Managers for more information:

Puna Whakataa

Puna Whakataa is a 10-bed, Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) respite and treatment residential service in partnership with The Salvation Army. We provide management and peer support work and The Salvation Army provide the clinicians. The English translation is 'the spring of rest and respite' meaning an environment created for treatment and respite.

The service is open to those who are currently engaged with a publicly funded specialist AOD service and offers up to 14 days respite to assist guests get themselves back on track while keeping connected to their community. 

Phone: 09 2662702

Contact Puna Whakataa's Team Manager for more information:

Consumer Network

DRIVE Consumer Direction Counties Manukau is a consumer network that represents the interests of people in the Counties Manukau District Health Board area who experience mental health issues, or problems with alcohol or other drugs.

DRIVE works to promote the consumer voice by being a link between service users and service providers, by supporting research, peer workforce development and by running hui.

DRIVE does not provide mental health or addictions services. 

Phone: 09 2636508 

Contact DRIVE's Team Manager for more information:

Youth Peer Support

Paired Up was developed in 2017 through a co-design project between Connect Supporting Recovery (in collaboration with Odyssey and Kāhui Tū Kaha) and a team of passionate young people with their own experience of mental distress. The resulting service design focused on creating a safe and effective environment for young people to support other young people. This is primarily achieved through one to one support with trained peer support workers and 'activations' where young people can create and deliver events or activities that increase connection and open spaces for conversations about wellbeing.

Paired Up was given a six month pilot in early 2018 to support students in the Tamaki College community.

Contact Paired Up's Team Manager for more information:


Peer Employment Training

PET provides training and preparation for work as a Peer Support Worker to individuals with their own lived experience of mental health or alcohol/drug addiction issues.

We hold an unwavering belief that people can and want to learn, grow and develop. We also believe that peer-to-peer support is one of the greatest learning experiences in someone’s quest for wellbeing.

Our Peer Employment Training equips people with a set of skills, a framework and boundaries which enables them to work safely alongside their peers in a range of employment settings and within a relationship that focusses on recovery, mutual learning, empowerment and hope. 

Phone: 09 2636508 

Contact our Peer Employment Trainer for more information: