Support for positive health changes
Peer Health Coaching

Neami National and SANE Australia have partnered to deliver Peer Health Coaching across Neami service sites through funding from the Department of Health. Responding to the poor physical health and significantly reduced life expectancy of people with a mental illness when compared to the general population, the innovative program aims to increase health literacy, improve skills and understanding in health improvement through six 1-hour coaching sessions with a Peer Worker. 

Peer Health Coaching is ahead of the game in mental health. The lived experience of the Peer Health Coaches is invaluable.
- SANE Project Coordinator

Peer Health Coaches are not health experts, but bring their lived experience to model recovery and use coaching techniques to encourage change.

As a Peer Health Coach, I support someone to articulate and action their physical health goals, encouraging motivation to overcome obstacles and link to social support outside and beyond our sessions.
- Peer Health Coach, VIC

In the first year, four Peer Health Coaches have worked with over 50 Neami consumers. Seven Peer Health Coaches are now working in VIC, NSW, WA, SA and QLD for the second year rollout phase.

Evaluation

Neami collects quantitative and qualitative data to monitor the success of the program. Initial results are extremely positive with consumers rating their satisfaction with coaching sessions an average of 9 out of 10; and most participants reporting increased health literacy and self-efficacy.

Peer Health Coaches report that consumers have generally made good progress towards health goals such as increased physical activity, weight-loss, smoking reduction and healthy eating. Consumers found the program fun and enjoyable, benefiting their general well-being as well as physical health. Most feel motivated to continue their health goals beyond Peer Health Coaching sessions

I am looking forward to every day.
- Peer Health Coaching participant

Consumers value the role of Peer Health Coaches

 ‘She could relate to us in a way... Knowing that she had gone through the same thing’ 
- Peer Health Coaching participant

The project team have developed a tailored training program for coaches and a comprehensive set of Practice Guidelines.  A project coordinator supports implementation; resource development and support to the Peer Health Coaches.

 
'My life was a bit of a mess... working with [Peer Health Coach] was inspiring '
Peer Health Coaching participant