Starfish Mental Health Peer Support

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Who We Are

Starfish (incorporating Reaching Out) is a Bridgend peer-support group providing emotional and practical support for anyone with mental health issues, whatever the cause. (Those under 18 may need adult supervision).
Starfish is run by sufferers for sufferers. The only non-sufferer committee member is our treasurer – a carer; ensuring safe financial management in case of illness.


Starfish meets at the Sarn Community Centre library, Merfield Close, Sarn, Bridgend CF32 9SW. (entrance/ parking behind Filco; opp. Tyn-y-coed surgery) – EVERY Monday 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Come/go any time. Refreshments available. Respectful behaviour guidelines apply
The aim is socialisation and discussion with others suffering similar daily problems relating to symptoms, treatments, access to resources and social stigma.
Sharing these issues with each other is uplifting and helps us feel stronger and less isolated, Very different diagnoses all share similar daily difficulties associated with anxiety, self-esteem, motivation, agitation, etc.

Peer Support

Peer support simply means people with similar problems
helping each other at the same social level rather than a
health professional instructing us or treating us, possibly
with no personal experience of how or what we suffer.
Everyone in this process has a personal investment in recovery
and a personal understanding of the issues. There is no talking
down to or undermining anybody.
There is no pulling rank or having your thoughts and feelings
ignored. We are all on the same page with equal stakes in the outcome. Group guidelines ensure mutual respect.
Other types of group support meetings might be “run” by a health professional, e.g. a psychologist. They dictate the order of business and tell people when they may or may not talk and what is relevant or not. These meetings have their place, often as part of treatment or therapy but this is not what we do at Starfish. Here, we listen!

What Can Starfish Do For You?

Here is a list in simple terms of some of the things Starfish can do for you if you suffer with mental health issues.

  1. We can be your friend, respect you unconditionally and care
    for you as part of our community and a fellow sufferer.
    Empathy and hugs (and tea/coffee/cakes) are free!
  2. Provide a safe, comforting environment for you to
    share your experiences with other group members.
  3. Actively listen to your concerns and offer guidance
    based on our own experience or ask others to help.
  4. Provide an “Anytime Helpline” which is free from all
    land lines and some mobiles – 08000 435 600.
  5. Additional ways to reach us for your convenience:
    Text: 07917 010590
    Twitter: @StarfishSarn
  6. Accompany you to any appointment for emotional
    support and/or advocacy; help to manage the outcomes.
  7. Assist with forms – benefits, etc., you may have
    trouble with. Assist with literacy/numeracy issues.
  8. Write to anyone supporting your needs or concerns.
  9. Research your diagnosis, symptoms, medications and
    other treatments and provide written reports.

There are a myriad things Starfish can do for you
and that you can do for us. To find out more or to
attend your first meeting, please contact Starfish.

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