Health and Wellbeing Group Support – Extern  

Health and Wellbeing Group Support – Extern  

Benefits: CR1, CR2, CR3, CR8


The Health and Wellbeing programme in Carrick and Larne aimed to provide high-support interventions for community members with complex needs. The programme sought sustainable support mechanisms through group settings and deeper integration of these groups into the community. 


Extern, the organisation behind the programme, focused on empowering groups identified and co-created with the help of community champions. Notable examples include the ‘We Are’ mental health and wellbeing group and ‘Embrace’. These groups were encouraged to be creative and responsive to community needs. Extern used a peer support model, proven in their ‘Stronger Together bereaved by suicide’ group, as a developmental model. A community consultation highlighted the need for a broader community mental health and wellbeing support group. This led to a pilot programme co-facilitated by staff and community champions, attended by 28 individuals. 


Feedback from the pilot programme indicated a strong need and success, leading to the launch of the ‘Stronger Together Wellbeing’ group in the second year. The pilot emphasised the benefits of training community champions in both Extern’s mandatory training and specialised health and wellbeing training. These trained champions could effectively challenge stigma, offer support, and inspire others in the community, enhancing the impact of the Health and Wellbeing programme. 

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