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We are affiliated to Mind, the national mental health charity.

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Peer Support

Our range of peer support projects offer a range of opportunities for people experiencing a mental health issue to get help and support from others who have personal, lived experience.

What is ‘Peer Support’?

Peer Support means just that, support from your peers! See our three videos below and find out a little more about peer support groups and how they can help:

Side by Side:

Our Side by Side programmes run across Southampton, the New Forest, Eastleigh, Winchester, Fareham and Gosport and offer a range of community-based groups and activities all run by and for people with experience of a mental health issue. This means you are able to talk openly and honestly with people who truly understand. Although there is no expectation to talk about your own mental health experiences, everything said within the group is kept strictly confidential.

All our groups are friendly, informal and low cost, and you don’t need any skills or experience to join in. We have a wide range of groups across the area including art, craft, walking, photography, gardening and board games as well as general social groups.

How do I join?

  • Our Peer Support groups are open to anyone over 16 living in the Hampshire area with a mental health issue.
  • Complete the form at the bottom of this page and one of our team will get in touch with you.
  • You do not need to be under the care of a mental health team to access the support.
  • There is no commitment to come every week.

For further information please contact the Side by Side team on 02380 208 920 or email SidebySide@solentmind.org.uk

Peer Support in Southampton and the New Forest

Our friendly groups take place at a variety of locations across the city of Southampton, Eastleigh, Winchester, Fareham and into the New Forest. Activities include:

  • Gardening at Itchen Valley Country Park
  • Bouldering at our Mind Over Mountains group, or a riverside walk in Southampton
  • Art and photography in the New Forest

Take a look at our latest Southampton activities calendar here.

Take a look at our latest New Forest activities calendar here.

Community Peer Navigators

Live in Bitterne, Bitterne Park, Townhill, Harefield, and Thornhill?  Need support with your wellbeing and would like to find out more about services and projects open to you?  Talk to one of our Community Peer Navigators, they have lived experience of mental health so can empathize and share their story as well as signposting you to community services and activities in your area. Read our information leaflet here.

Please click here to use our on-line referral form

For further information please contact Navigators@solentmind.org.uk or telephone 02380 208920.

An introduction to our Community Navigation project – from Solent Mind Peer Support

Portsmouth Area

Our groups run across Portsmouth and some are held at the Portsmouth Wellbeing Centre, 100 Palmerston Rd, Southsea, P05 3PT. We hold a range of activities including:

Dog walking
Allotment Group
Social Inclusion Group
Anxiety and Stress Workshop

If you would like more information on peer-led groups, please contact the Wellbeing Centre on 02392 824 795 or email PSRwellbeingcentre@solentmind.org.uk

Alternatively, if you would like to find out more about the other peer-related services we offer please click here

Peer Support in your organisation

As well as developing peer support opportunities locally ourselves, as part of the Side by Side programme we aim to show other organisations the value of peer support, and how simple it is to develop peer-led opportunities. What we can offer your organisation:

  • Free support and training to develop mental health peer support.
  • Networking opportunities so you can meet organisations, agencies and individuals with an interest in mental health and peer support and share knowledge.
  • Advice on getting your project going including recruiting volunteers and applying for funding.

For more information about developing peer support in your organisation, please contact the Side by Side team on 02380 208 920 or email SidebySide@SolentMind.org.uk.

Volunteering Opportunities

If you have experienced a mental health issue and would like to volunteer to help support others, please see information about our latest volunteer roles.

Complete your details below for more information on any of our Peer Support projects

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