Kites Trust has undertaken to work with three organisations in the Wellington area to provide and research peer advocacy.
Te Ara Korowai, Vincents Art Workshop and Newtown Union Health Service are providing peer advocacy for people who experience mental health and addiction issues and live in the Capital & Coast District Health Board (CCDHB) area. CCDHB is funding the project for 12 months from 1 July 2015 to find out if peer advocacy services can be improved in the areas of Kapiti, Porirua and Wellington.
The project will provide peer advocacy that caters for all people who experience mental health and addiction issues including youth, families and whanau, and older people. We will look into the number of peer advocates needed to ensure independent peer advocacy is available for those who require it.
Whatever we find and learn during this pilot project may be used in the establishment of a new peer advocacy delivery model to be confirmed by CCDHB by 1 July 2016.
We are using the following definitions during the project:
Advocacy - involves taking up the cause of an individual or group at their request to ensure their rights are respected and their needs are addressed.
Peer Advocacy - is when the advocate has been, or is going through, a similar experience. It is about equality and is a process of working towards natural justice.