Rana Aston

Umanga Tukumahi – Service Manager

After spending many years in and out of psychiatric care Rana was offered peer support in her early twenties and to this day believes this is how she discovered that she could create a life worth living. Seeing people with lived experience living a life they wanted and achieving things that they were told they couldn't, gave Rana inspiration to live her best life.

She went on to study university level and graduating with several qualifications including a BHSc (Even after dropping out of school at 14), she worked in allied health/rehabilitative medicine for five or six years before coming to work at Balance. Rana has had one short psychiatric admission in the last ten years rather than every other week due to learning self management, wellness tools and gaining confidence in living life.

Rana has been working with Balance to support rural people, runs practical workshops in mindfulness and wellness tools, and works as a Peer Support Worker in Te Awhina at Whanganui Hospital. She loves working with people to discover their potential, gain hope, strength and a renewed sense of self.


Victoria Butler

Umanga Kaihoe - Business Administrator

My journey with Balance began in 2010. I had spent my life battling mood fluctuations of highs and lows. Since beginning at Balance I have married my lovely husband and have had 2 beautiful children. I took some time out for this.

My passion is keeping the behind the scenes work happening, administration. My second passion is the people we work with. Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) and Intentional Peer Support are the basis underpinning my work and personal life. Running WRAP courses is my passion – there is power in a good wellness plan – staying in control of our own health.

I have the luxury of a mixed role so get to spend some time with you – through Peer Support.

David Mason

At Balance I feel a sense of belonging with other people as well as being a part of the environment. I believe I have a strong ability to listen to people as well as to invite the different cultures that come to Balance. 


Ben Olsen

Ben  joined our team in 2022.  His area of focus is the rural community.  Ben is currently studying towards his Certificate in Mental Health Peer Support.