"The mission of the Balance Whanganui Peer Support & Advocacy team is to provide high quality peer support, education, advocacy and training to people (tangata whaiora) affected by mental health and addiction issues in the Whanganui DHB region."
Balance Whanganui does this by providing support and education based on intentional self care (WRAP), relationship care (Intentional Peer Support) and community care, recognising that many mental health issues relate to social determinants and the need to emphasise models of care which take into account all the different elements of holistic health. Balance has explored how to incorporate 2,000 year old Maori wisdom as a foundation for all our learning and the way we relate to each other and our environments.
Hope - Hope is essential for recovery. Hope "springs from a sense of the possible." Without hope, recovery can seem out of reach. Unfortunately, many people who have gone through the mental health system have often been left without hope: being repeatedly told, or lead to believe, that they would never be able to lead normal, independent and meaningful lives in a community that respects them as valuable and unique people. Hope can be inspired by having goals and motivation along with understanding planning processes to achieve those goals. Hope can be inspired by watching the recovery journey of others.
Social/Peer Support - Relationships need a supportive environment in which to thrive. People need others who have faith in their abilities, who understand and provide encouragement, and who will empathically listen to them. They need peer supporters and advocates who believe in and listen to them. They need peer supporters and advocates who will support them in their quest to recover and have their rights respected.
Empowerment - People in recovery are recovering from a loss of self, a loss of power, a loss of meaning, and a loss of hope. They need to regain a sense of self management and self-direction. People need a sense of self and a sense of meaning in their lives. They need to be the ones making the decisions for their futures: their treatments, their goals and dreams, for they are experts on themselves. To be the master of your own life is to be truly empowered! The fundamental kaupapa of Balance Whanganui is to shine light on the freedom and power everyone already has.
Education - We embrace a shared learning process among equals who all have something to teach as well as to learn from each other. People in recovery need to educate themselves about their own life situation: their feelings and behaviours, triggers, available options for help, medications, community resources, and anything else that affects their well-being. This allows them to be not just reactive, but a proactive participant in the management of their own health and their own lives. The better a person understands what they are dealing with, the better they can help manage their own symptoms. This builds the courage and determination necessary to stay on the road to recovery.