Engage Aotearoa

Category Archives: Youth

Engage Facebook Highlights

Here are a half a dozen recent highlights from our Facebook page. Please LIKE US!

Kiwi tastes a golden nugget. It’s delicious. Superb animated film about addiction.

Writing from the Toi Ora Creative Writers in the ArtWeek zine
Toi Ora writers make a splash: writing from Matthew Savage, Liz Higgins, Andrew Holdaway and more.

Nine Things Every Parent with an Anxious Child Should Try
Your child turns to you and says, “I don’t want to take the bus. My stomach hurts. Please don’t make me go.” A discussion

Public lecture by Professor Rosalind Gill: Sexting, sexualisation and sexism
Modern youth sexuality, sexting and the sexy selfie. 27 November 2014, 6pm.

Finding the Treatment Options that Suck Less
The Crazymeds Manifesto: to help you find treatment options that suck less.

Worst Things to Say to a Person With Bipolar Disorder
When your friend or loved one has bipolar disorder, here are the worst things you can tell them.

IIMHL New Zealand Special Update

The following links are a summary of the IIMHL AND IIDL UPDATE – 15 NOVEMBER 2014

If you want further information on the IIMHL organisation go here. To sign up for their mailing list go here.

For general enquiries about these links or for other IIMHL information please contact Erin Geaney at erin@iimhl.com.

  1. The Physical Health of People with a Serious Mental Illness and/or Addiction: An evidence review
  2. Stories of Success
  3. Tihei Mauri Ora: Supporting whānau through suicidal distress
  4. New ‘wellbeing bank’ for baby boomers
  5. “There is always someone worse off…” (regarding the earthquakes in Christchurch)
  6. Debriefing following seclusion and restraint: A summary of relevant literature
  7. Families and whānau status report 2014: Towards measuring the wellbeing of families and whānau
  8. Growing Up in New Zealand: Vulnerability Report 1: Exploring the Definition of Vulnerability for Children in their First 1000 Days (July 2014)
  9. Parents or caregivers of children with a disability have a voice in New Zealand (video playlist)

Also recommended in the update are:

Effective parenting programmes: A review of the effectiveness of parenting programmes for parents of vulnerable children
(2014, April 14). Wellington: Families Commission

New Zealand practice guidelines for opioid substitution treatment
(2014, April). Wellington: Ministry of Health



Teacher Uses Coping Kete to Theme Static Image Lessons

Engage Aotearoa went to the Far North LifeHack Weekend in mid-2014 and met Ilana Hill, a Year 9 teacher at Taipa Area School with a passion for suicide prevention. She had the idea to use the content in The Coping Kete to get her students talking about coping and at the same time engage them meaningfully in the Static Image component of the Year 9 English curriculum.

Ilana says “I have a year 9 class that is full of energy and disparate personalities. I was very worried about engagement in English and I was seeking ways to make learning relevant and meaningful.” She adds, “I was really excited about helping make useful information about how to cope with depression visually accessible. I got the idea that perhaps … it could even be a subtle vehicle to teach them some of their own coping techniques for when times get tough.”

I hoped students would develop compassion and tools to become resilient as they progress through their teenage years in a very low decile area where they have to face a lot of negativity in their lives.”

Students were motivated by the knowledge that the top two posters would actually be shared on the Engage Aotearoa website to help more people find what they need. In this way, the project gave students an opportunity to make a real difference to their communities. Mindful of the sensitivity of mental-health related topics in school, Ilana worked with Engage Aotearoa and her school principal to set safe guidelines for the project and incorporated these into her existing lesson plans for the Year 9 static image curriculum.

Engage Aotearoa and the CMHRT board of trustees would like to thank Ilana for leading this partnership and giving permission for her material to be turned into a resource for others (this will be available on the Engage Aotearoa website shortly). The team also sends out a massive thanks to the students at Taipa Area School for their amazing work in creating graphic designs that share ideas that matter. You all did a fantastic job and in the words of the service director “we wish we had space for all of them!”

Check out the top two designs below and help us share these young Kiwis’ work as far and wide as it can go.

First Place

Aaliyah for It’s Ok to Have a Bad Day

Judges notes: “This poster design stood out for its simplicity and the importance of the message that Aaliyah chose to highlight from The Coping Kete. One of the most important things for surviving the tough times, is being allowed to have tough times. So much of our suffering comes from not being allowed to feel what we feel. Strategy 29 in The Coping Kete is all about telling ourselves that it is okay/acceptable to feel the whole spectrum of emotions, instead of trying to stay in the ‘positive’ ones all the time and judging ourselves for the ‘negative’ ones like anger, anxiety, sadness, jealousy or disgust.”

 Second Place

Destiny for It Helps to Talk

Judges Notes: “Destiny chose to highlight a message that is central to most effective suicide prevention and mental-health promotion strategies. We liked the idea that a young person chose to share this particular message with other young people. In the words of a young person we met at KiwiFoo Camp in May, “kids are sick of adults telling them what to do”. Here we have a 14 year-old sharing the message that talking helps. We liked how the cup shape suggests sitting down to a cup of tea with someone and the words Destiny chose to fill the cup with might give people a few ideas of who to reach out to. It also says something about the range of people we need to get involved in creating truly supportive communities.”



Skylight: Four August Workshops

Skylight offers a wide range of services to support those facing tough times of change, loss, trauma and grief – whatever the cause, and whatever their age. They also equip, train and support those wanting to assist, such as friends or family members, community volunteers or professionals. Here are four workshops they are offering in the upcoming weeks. For more information about these or other upcoming workshops, go to http://skylight.org.nz/

Compassion fatigue and second had trauma 

Day / Date:   Tues,19th Aug          Time:  6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost:   $60                 Venue: Skylight
Facilitator:                  Margaret Alve

Workshop brief: This workshop will explain; the nature and impact of Compassion Fatigue and Second Hand Trauma, suggest ways to manage the effects in the workplace, and discuss strategies for prevention. Participants will: Hear about the latest research / Gain knowledge and skills to better manage and prevent these challenges / Learn simple ways to positively influence and benefit their workplace culture. The workshop will benefit people whose role involves supporting others in distress, or difficulty of any kind.  It is also for those who support the wellbeing of frontline staff.

Eating disorders 

Day / Date:   Wed, 27th Aug          Time:  9.30 – 12.30pm
Cost:   $80                 Venue: Skylight
Facilitator:                  Chris Bowden and Megan Horsham

Workshop brief: This informative and interactive workshop will explore: How to identify a young person at risk, and identify signs and symptoms of eating disorders / What it is like to have an eating disorder from a young person’s point of view (themes from research and real life) / How to talk with young people who have an eating disorder (for example, what to say, how best to say it and what not to say) / How to respond to disclosures, anger and denial in young people / How to talk to and support family and friends of teens with eating disorders

Understanding men’s grief, loss and health

Day / Date:   Thurs 28th Aug          Time:  6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost:   $60                 Venue: Skylight
Facilitator:                  Margaret Alve and Chris Bowden

Workshop brief: Understanding men’s grief, loss and health – this workshop for professionals will explore the latest thinking about the ways gender shapes men’s health beliefs, coping, and health behaviours. Participants will be encouraged to join a conversation, share insights and knowledge about how best to support men experiencing grief, loss and change.

Supporting Children and Teens through Loss and Grief

Day / Date:   Fri, 29th Aug          Time:  9.30am – 12.30 pm
Cost:   $80                 Venue: The Mercy Spirituality Centre, Auckland
Facilitator:                  John Hibbs

Workshop brief: This experiential and interactive workshop will look at the challenging and disorienting experience of grief, loss and bereavement for children and young people by: Exploring a variety of creative therapeutic approaches to working with grief / Practical ways to work with the issues of guilt, fear, anger and sadness / Coping strategies through the hard times / What works with the differing developmental stages / Supporting through reflection and active listening.


Whānau Marama: Life-Changing Parenting

Life-Changing Parenting Courses for Parents of all Cultures

Whānau Marama Parenting provides information on how parents can discipline their children in a positive way. Their vision is for tamariki/children to learn what their parents wish to teach them by experiencing consistent positive discipline and guidance which does not include  punishment.

Examples of upcoming courses:

Parenting Adolescents English begins 24 August

The 5 Languages of Aroha begins 1st September

For more information:


Generation Next – Mental Health and Wellbeing Seminar

Generation Next is a not-for-profit social enterprise dedicated to enhancing the mental health and wellbeing of young people and their communities.

They run a series of annual seminars in Australia and NZ. They aim to provide participants with the knowledge and skills to help young people achieve and maintain their emotional, social, mental, and physical wellbeing.

The Mental Health & Wellbeing of Young People, being held in Auckland on Friday 1 August 2014 will feature local and international experts in child mental health and wellbeing, showcasing the latest updates on key health, social, and educational issues.

Download 2014 Brochure here.

The Cube NZ: Strategic Action Plan and Awards

The Cube NZ are working with the Auckland Councils Youth Advisory Panel, to launch the I Am Auckland Children and Young Peoples Strategic Action Plan and the very first Youth Work and Youth Organisation Awards.

The Launch and Awards will be on 25th July 2014 at the Limelight Theatre, Aotea Centre. This event I completely Youth Led, meaning that young people are designing and delivering all aspects of the launch and awards.

What we are needing from you…….

Please get the message out that we are giving young people the opportunity to recognise and nominate youth workers and youth organisations for an awards. They can do this by filling out this very easy nomination form www.iamauckland.co.nz.

All the information on who you can nominate and the categories are on the form. What else are we looking for…… as this is youth led, we are looking for young people who are interested in some work experience in setting up and delivering the event, if you know of a young person (aged between 15 – 24) who would like to get some event work experience please email iamauckland.awards@gmail.com and we will hook them up with the Cube Crew who are organising the event.

If you have any questions about the event feel free to contact Catherine on Catherine@yesdisability.org.nz

Wellington, Skylight: “Talking About…” Workshops for Supporters of Children and Young People

The “Talking About…” series of workshops provides professional development for those working in environments where they are supporting children and young people through challenging life events and crises.

Skylight, who runs the workshops, is a national grief support agency that has been running successful training for almost a decade. Skylight’s training facilitators bring a range of professional backgrounds, and provide practical strategies, ideas, suggestions and resources for practitioners.

The next workshop is on Wednesday the 18th of June: Talking About Stress and Anxiety with Madeleine Taylor.

There are also workshops in August, September, and October.

Flyer here.

Workshops are from 9:30am to 12:30pm at Skylight, 2A Green St, Newtown, Wellington. Please allow ample time to find parking.

$80 per workshop. Includes morning tea and handouts.
15% discount available for participants who register for 3 or more workshops at one time.
Registration confirmed on receipt of payment.

To register email pd@skylight-trust.org.nz, or call 0800 299 100 for further information.

SPARX e-Therapy Game goes Live

SPARX is an online e-therapy tool provided by the University of Auckland, as an initiative of the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project. SPARX helps young people learn skills to deal with feeling down, depressed or stressed.  The effectiveness of SPARX has been proven to be as good as standard care in a Randomised Control Trial undertaken by the University of Auckland. It could help you or people you know.


Invisible Voices: The experience of young carers living with a parent who experiences mental illness.


Have you had experience of caring for a parent with mental illness?
Have you had experience of caring for a sibling or siblings due to a parent’s experience of mental illness?
Would you be able to volunteer around one and a half hours of your time to take part in an individual interview, to talk about your experiences?
Interviews can take place locally in an environment suitable to you. Your confidentiality and that of your family will be respected at every stage of this study.

“My name is Karen Merrett. I am a Masters of Social Work student at Auckland University, currently undertaking my thesis. I’d like to hear the stories of young carers of parents who experience mental illness, with the aim of improving services to young carers and their families. Please contact me directly on 027 471 7394. If you leave your details, I’ll contact you to talk about the study.”