Peer support powerful for mental health and wellbeing

Whakarongorau Aotearoa New Zealand Telehealth Services offer free online services to the public, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, over multiple digital channels. The organisation is owned by Pegasus Health and ProCare Health Limited and includes Healthline, the COVID Healthlines, 1737 – Need to talk?, Gambling Helpline and Quitline services.

1737 is a free service for New Zealanders feeling down, anxious, a bit overwhelmed or just need to chat to someone.

The service’s Mental Health Clinical Lead, psychiatrist Dr David Codyre says peer support can be powerful.

A trained peer support worker can help a person normalise an experience of distress and, when appropriate, share what helped them, or suggest actions that might help. Once the person is able to make sense of their situation they can make changes that help them recover.


Support provided by someone who has “walked in your shoes” has a powerful impact and many people find this to be an influential factor in their recovery.

“Peer support workers can help people navigate through challenging life situations, which can cause a loss of confidence, or bring about feelings of shame. Having these feelings normalised, and being supported, is for many people a very healing experience,” said Dr Codyre.