IMPACT’s Mental Health Peer Support Workers Provide a Safe Haven for Healing

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Last updated: 28/06/2023

IMPACT Community Services’ Chill and Chat Group is offering a ray of light in the darkness for South Burnett residents struggling with their mental health. Led by Mental Health Peer Support Workers Luke Arnold and Kaelene Fairbrother, the group offers a safe haven for individuals seeking solace, connection, and personal growth.

Most Wednesday mornings, the doors of IMPACT’s Mental Health Drop-In Centre in Kingaroy swing open, welcoming everyone with guidance, compassion and shared experiences. Through the guiding hands of Luke and Kaelene, this support group has become a lifeline for many, providing a platform for individuals to share their journeys, struggles and triumphs in an environment free from judgment.

The essence of the Chill and Chat Group lies in the power of peer support—an aspect that sets it apart from traditional therapy settings. Luke Arnold, a passionate Mental Health Peer Support Worker, shares the significance of this unique approach, stating, "Through shared experiences and open conversations, participants discover they are not alone in their struggles. Peer support creates an invaluable sense of belonging and empowers individuals to heal and grow together."

Beyond the enriching conversations, the group fosters a sense of community through engaging activities that spark joy and connection. Participants indulge in friendly games, relish in the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, and savour the delectable treats lovingly baked by Luke and Kaelene. These simple yet meaningful experiences promote a welcoming and inclusive space, allowing individuals to break free from the confines of their homes and combat the pernicious grip of loneliness.

What sets the Chill and Chat Group apart is its holistic approach to mental health support. Many members of the group also come together to take part in a regular gardening group organised by CentaCare. This collaborative endeavour provides an opportunity for individuals to reconnect with nature, finding solace and serenity in the small things.

Joining the Chill and Chat Group is simple. Participants are encouraged to self-refer, and referrals also come from various local organisations including the local mental health unit, CentaCare, and Lives Live Well. By actively engaging with the Chill and Chat Group, individuals step into a judgement free zone where they can openly discuss their treatment experiences, confront life's challenges head-on, and receive unwavering support from others going through mental health struggles.

IMPACT Community Services is dedicated to fostering a community where healing and growth flourish. Through the efforts of Luke and Kaelene, the Chill and Chat Group stands as a shining example of the power of connection, understanding, and solidarity in the face of mental health struggles, and highlights the immense value of non-clinical support for mental health.

In a world that often feels disconnected, the Chill and Chat Group offers a ray of hope—a place where shared experiences light the path to healing and connection.

IMPACT’s Mental Health Drop In Centre is located at 6/119 Youngman Street, Kingaroy, and is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm. The Chill and Chat Group meets most Wednesdays at 10am. The group doesn’t run on the third Wednesday of each month.

To find out more about IMPACT’s mental health support services head to https://impact.org.au/support-and-wellbeing/

To contact the team, phone 0488 534 222 or email larnold@impact.org.au.

Please note: This website may contain references to, or feature images, videos, and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have passed away.

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