Peer support offers a client centered approach to the psychosocial mental health services. The women know their stories and challenges best and similarly are able to develop solutions on their own. Caregivers and patients experience stigma and discrimination in the communities therefore this program gives them the support they need to maintain a health mental wellbeing. It is a mental health services by the women for the women run by the women.

Objectives of the Phoebe Peer Support Programs:

  • To provide a safe space and learning environment for individuals with lived experiences and caregivers without fear of judgment, misunderstanding, harassment or abuse.
  • To increase social connectedness and create a sense of belonging within supportive peer networks
  • To provide positive role models, positive peer influences and opportunities which help individuals with lived experiences and caregivers to develop a positive self concept, self acceptance and high self esteem.
  • To prevent the onset or further development of mental health problems including depression, anxiety, self harm and suicidal ideation.
  • To increase confidence and to develop and enhance communication and social skills.
  • To empower young people to build personal resilience and improved help-seeking behaviour through increased knowledge of available support, reduced stigma associated with mental health difficulties and help-seeking, the development of positive coping strategies and the development of skills needed to access help.
  • To foster future thinking and optimism and to widen individuals with lived experiences and caregivers’ understanding and beliefs of the opportunities available to them.

Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals ANNEXE and Harare Central Hospital Psychiatric Unit

Our team conducts mental health sessions three times a week and topics include introductions to mental ill health, different mental health conditions, medications, recovery, self-help, support networks and many other topics. These workshops enable women to understand the nature of their conditions and their triggers and ways of avoiding them. The sessions also help the women to learn to take care of themselves and become independent. We also have a referral system whereby we refer our women for specialist services at the hospitals.