For managing depression with peer coaching and wellness

A Peer Coaching Wellness Program for Managing Anxiety and Depression

The Wellcircle program was designed to meet challenges that arise when treating people with mental health challenges such as stress, anxiety or depression. We saw a gap in the way current medical systems are able to support people with such challenges.

Wellcircle aims to educate and empower individuals and groups to implement effective strategies based on four main tools:

1. Wellness literacy as a systems approach to understanding all the elements of wellness;

2. Efficacy of wellness coaching skills to facilitate habit change;

3. Evidence-based wellness strategies that are proven to reduce physical and mental health challenges;

4. Being part of a peer-supported community that shares similar challenges.

Research-based evidence and large clinical trials demonstrate that several simple lifestyle and nutritional strategies can significantly impact depression, as well as add efficacy to those already on anti-depressant medication. Success rates are demonstrated to be over 70%. Lifestyle and habit change can be difficult to take on without strong behavior change support mechanisms. Our medical system does not currently have adequate funding to support habit and lifestyle changes.

After interviewing a range of general practitioners, psychologists and psychiatrists, it was clear that they would value a referral framework that would: support people with depression to take on lifestyle and nutritional changes, build their capacity and skills, and empower them to better manage their own health. So, we decided to research, design, develop and pilot a cost-effective and sustainable framework that would do this.

Wellcircle: Moving from Depression with the Art and Science of Wellness

An evidence-based lifestyle and strategy change program where groups of people, affected by depression, join together in support of one another to engage in skill development using peer coaching.

  • Participants learn the physiology, psychology, social & situational aspects of depression, so they can better understand themselves and develop a toolbox for change.
  • Participants learn peer coaching skills so they can develop self-efficacy and support each other to change.
  • The Wellcircle is run in 8 sessions over 2-3 months, so participants have time to practice and integrate the new skills they will learn.

If you are interested in joining a Wellcircle or running one in your local community, please contact us for more details.