Shelley Downs

Peer Worker & Support Worker

ABOUT  ➡️ Peer Work

What is a Peer worker?

Peer work refers to a specific role where individuals who have a lived experience with mental health challenges or mental illness provide support, guidance, and advocacy to others who are going through similar experiences. 

Peer workers or peer support workers, use their own recovery journey and first hand knowledge to assist others in their recovery process.

Peer work was introduced in Australia in recognition of the unique value and benefits that individuals with lived experience of mental health challenges can bring to the mental health system. 

The introduction of peer work was driven by several factors:

  1. Empowerment and Recovery Focus: Peer work aligns with the recovery-oriented approach in mental health, which emphasises individuals’ strengths, resilience, and self-determination in their journey towards recovery. Peer workers, as individuals who have navigated their own recovery, can inspire hope, instil confidence, and empower others to take an active role in their own mental health journey.
  2. Enhancing Service Provision: Peer workers offer a distinct perspective and understanding that can complement the professional knowledge of mental health clinicians. They can provide unique insights into the challenges faced by individuals with mental health issues and offer practical strategies for managing those challenges. Peer workers also contribute to creating a more inclusive and person-centred approach to mental health services.
  3. Reducing Stigma and Promoting Peer Support: Peer work plays a crucial role in reducing the stigma associated with mental illness. Peer workers serve as living examples that recovery is possible, helping to challenge stereotypes and negative perceptions. By facilitating peer support networks and creating safe spaces for individuals to share their experiences, peer work fosters a sense of belonging, connection, and social support among people with mental health conditions.
  4. Consumer Participation and Advocacy: The introduction of peer work in Australia reflects the growing recognition of the importance of consumer participation in shaping mental health policies and services. Peer workers actively advocate for the needs and rights of individuals with lived experience, contributing to more inclusive and person-centred mental health systems.

Whatever your dream is, I encourage you and support you 100%.

Peer Support Work

It’s important to remember you are the expert on your mental health. You are in control and hold the knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. It’s different for everyone – some people find that having cooked meals, supported social community participation or exercise is the key to recovery for them. 

👩 About Me & What I Do

Hi Shelley here 👋🏼, ready to tell you a bit about myself. I’m a down-to-earth kind of person, what you see is what you get! Growing up as a young carer and working in the disability sector for 20 years, I’ve seen a lot and gained a ton of experience.

Now, let me be clear—I’m not your typical peer support worker. I might not be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s totally fine we are all individuals. I don’t care much for labels or diagnoses because what I truly love is people. I’m open-minded, non-judgmental, and just here to lend a helping hand.

In my own recovery journey, I discovered something interesting about myself—I had no luck with medication, and found mindfulness and meditation limiting. So, I decided to explore alternative methods. That’s when I stumbled upon NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), energy medicine, hypnotherapy, and neuroscience. Learning about the brain and human behaviour became the cornerstone of my own recovery.

When I’m not working, you’ll find me enjoying almost everything life has to offer. I’m a social butterfly who loves music, yoga, the beach, art, coffee, food—you name it! I’m also a bookworm and a documentary enthusiast, constantly seeking knowledge about the intricacies of the brain and behaviour. It’s been an incredible journey of self-discovery and with hindsight I credit my mental health journey for the discovery of my life’s passion.

I’m based in Arana Hills, Brisbane and available to work with clients in various areas. Whether you’re in Brisbane CBD or the surrounding suburbs like Arana Hills, Everton Park, Albany Creek, Ferny Hills, Mitchelton, Enoggera, Bunya, Annerley, Samford, Stafford, Gaythorne, Fortitude Valley, or New Farm, I’m here to support you.

With my own personal experiences of anxiety, depression, PND, PTSD, and ADHD, I understand the power of peer support. I have witnessed the transformative effect of being seen, heard, understood, and validated by a person who has traveled a similar path. Together, we’ll navigate your mental health recovery journey because you’re not alone in this. If you’re curious to see if we’ll be a good fit, don’t hesitate to book a call. Let’s chat and explore how I can support you best.

Book a discovery call with Shelley either over the phone or via Zoom. 

How Can Recovery Coaching Help You

For Family and Carers

Are you supporting a loved one facing mental health challenges? Or are you struggling yourself, unsure of where to turn? You’re not alone, and I’m here to help.

At, I provide support and guidance for families, carers, and friends seeking understanding and assistance. Whether you’re looking for information, resources, or simply a listening ear, I’m dedicated to supporting you on this journey.

As someone who has personally tried various medications and therapies offered by mental health services, I understand the significant gap that exists. It can be frustrating when you’ve already gone through therapy and seen psychiatrists, yet still feel like something is missing.

That’s where I come in. I offer a unique perspective and alternative approaches to mental health and well-being. Together, we can explore new avenues and find strategies that work best for you or your loved one.

If you’d like more information or have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email at I’m more than happy to provide the assistance you need or direct you to appropriate resources.

Remember, there’s always hope, and I’m here to support you. Let’s find the solutions that bring you or your loved one the support and healing you deserve.

Qualifications & Affiliations

Shelley brings a wealth of qualifications and affiliations to her work, backed by 20 years of experience in the disability sector. Throughout her career, she has held various roles, including family coordinator, program coordinator, peer worker, key worker, and support worker in personal homes, day services, and respite services. Her diverse experience has given her valuable insights into the needs and challenges faced by individuals and families in the disability community.

Shelley’s dedication to enhancing her skills and knowledge is evident in her educational pursuits. She has studied community work, equipping her with a solid foundation in supporting individuals and communities. Additionally, she has received training with Russ Harris in acceptance and commitment therapy, a powerful approach that helps individuals embrace change, overcome challenges, and live a more meaningful life.

Committed to providing the highest level of support, Shelley holds several certifications and qualifications. She is a certified Mental Health First Aider, ensuring she is well-prepared to offer immediate assistance and support to those in crisis. With a Blue Card, she has undergone thorough screening to work with children and young people. Moreover, Shelley has completed NDIS module training, enhancing her understanding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and its impact on individuals and families.

In addition to her mental health and disability expertise, Shelley is certified in Nero-Linguistic Practitioner (NLP) and hypnotherapy. These modalities offer powerful tools for personal growth, behaviour change, and overcoming limitations. By incorporating these approaches into her practice, Shelley can provide a well-rounded and holistic approach to supporting individuals in their mental health and well-being journeys.

Shelley’s diverse background encompasses both the mental health and disability sectors, allowing her to draw from a broad range of experiences and perspectives. This unique blend of expertise enables her to tailor her support to the specific needs and circumstances of each individual she works with.

Through her qualifications, affiliations, and continuous professional development, Shelley is committed to staying current and informed in her field. By combining her knowledge, experience, and compassionate nature, she strives to make a positive difference in the lives of those she supports.


My services are completely tailor made to your specific needs.

Whether you prefer Zoom or a combination of online and in-person sessions, I offer both because I understand that flexibility is essential when managing fluctuating health, and anxiety. I’m always happy to work around your needs. This approach has proven effective in keeping individuals connected and supported during their wellness journey.

Available to work with clients in the following areas:

  • Brisbane CBD and surrounding areas
  • Arana Hills
  • Everton Park
  • Everton Hills
  • Albany Creek
  • Ferny Hills
  • Mitchelton
  • Enoggera
  • Bunya
  • Stafford
  • Gaythorne
  • Fortitude Valley
  • New Farm
  • Samford
  • Mount Glorious
Brisbane Psychosocial recovery coach

Recovery isn’t always a straight line, sometimes, there are twists and turns. And yet wherever you are, I’ll meet you there! It’s all about meeting you where you are in your journey.