Peerspace at headspace Canberra!

27 Feb 2024

Ben is headspace Canberra's awesome Peer worker!

Like all peer workers, Ben has lived experience of mental illness and uses this to help young people understand their own thoughts, feelings and context. He runs a group called Peerspace which is open to any young person and doesn't have a waitlist.

Here is a quick chat with Ben about his work!

Ben, tell us about yourself?

As a peer worker I bring a lot of myself into my role. I use my lived/living experience with mental ill-health to support people! If I were to describe myself in one word, I suppose it would be “nerd”, I like games, reading, movies, music, that kinda stuff.

What is Peerspace?

Peerspace is a small group that meets weekly to hang out, chat about mental health and learn new stuff. My goal with Peerspace is to make a space for people to come and be themselves, feel comfortable and talk about whatever they want to talk about. It's a space to be seen, valued and heard.

I started the group because when I was going through my worst mental health times, I really needed a space to just be me, to explore my passions and interests and make friends. 

How might it be helpful?

There are few ways that it could be helpful! It can be a good place to practice being around people, chatting and expressing ideas. It can also help you think about your interests and what you care about as a person. It can be great to have something to do outside of the house regularly. If there are specific things that you want to work on or discuss we can support that too, it's super flexible.

What happens in a workshop?

I try to keep it casual, warm, and inviting. There is always colouring-in activities on the table, stress balls and some plushies. We have comfortable chairs, bean bags, and maybe a board game or a game of UNO. We usually start the group off with a “check in” to see how everyone has been since the last time we met and if there is anything that people would like to discuss. If there is a general theme or topic that the group is focusing on then we discuss that and chat about it as a group.

Who else will be there?

I try to keep the group size small. Normally we have 6-8 young people, myself and one other staff member. 

How do you join Peerspace?

Just call reception on 02 6113 5700 or ask when you're here and ask for me, Ben!

Peerspace meets Thursdays, fortnightly. Online and in person sessions alternate, so there is something on every week!

  • In person group: 4pm - 5.30pm at headspace Canberra 
  • Online group: 5.30pm - 6.30pm via Microsoft Teams