Engage Aotearoa

Category Archives: Service-user Movement

Taking part in the Mental Health and Addictions Inquiry

The Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction has been established by the New Zealand Government in response to widespread concern about mental health and addiction services in the mental health sector and the broader community. It’s time to have your say about what works, what doesn’t work, and what else is needed. Submissions are due by 5pm, 5 June 2018.

Anyone can make a submission to the Inquiry. Service-users, family members, and mental-health professionals have especially valuable perspectives to share. There are a number of different ways you can make your voice count.

  • Fill out the Inquiry Panel’s consultation document. You can do this online or on a downloaded form. The consultation document is like a short survey that asks the following questions…
    1. What is currently working well? Why do you think it is working well? Who is it working well for?
    2. What isn’t working well at the moment? What mental health and addiction needs are not currently being met? Who isn’t receiving the support they need and why? What is not being done now that should be?
    3. What could be done better?
    4. From your point of view, what sort of society would be best for the mental health of all our people?
    5. Anything else you want to tell us? 
  • Write your own submission and email this to the Inquiry Panel. They will consider all submissions received. You can use the questions in the consultation document or not, the choice is yours.
  • You can also provide your submission over the phone by calling 0800 644 678 between 9:30am and 5:30pm Monday to Friday. Someone will be able to talk to you and write down your ideas about how to improve mental health and addiction in New Zealand.
  • Finally, you can attend a regional community meeting to share your ideas directly with the panel. You can complete their Expression of Interest form so they can keep in touch with you when they have updates to share.

Contact the Mental Health and Addictions Inquiry

Website: www.mentalhealth.inquiry.govt.nz

Email: mentalhealth@inquiry.govt.nz

Phone:  0800 644 678

Save the Date: 8th Service User Academia Symposium

*** Spread the word – Save the date! ***

The 8th Service User Academia Symposium is on it’s way 

Thursday 15th & Friday 16th November 2018

The University of Melbourne, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street Carlton AUSTRALIA 3053

Contact Dr Sarah Gordon for more information sarah.e.gordon@otago.ac.nz

Last year’s event in Wellington was a full house that saw service-user academics from across New Zealand, Australia and the UK come together to share ideas.

New Research: Support makes a difference in antipsychotic medication withdrawal

An important part of Miriam’s doctoral research and some further analysis has just been published in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. You can follow this link to view a copy of the full text online, but will need a subscription to download a pdf copy to keep:  https://rdcu.be/MpKs

Here’s a screenshot of the abstract for quick reference…

Abstract Attempting to Stop Antipsychotic Medication Success Supports and Efforts to Cope

The Latest from the British Psychological Society

In case you missed it, on the 1st of February the Division of Clinical Psychology at the British Psychological Society published a new report that presents a different way of looking at mental-health problems,  The Power Threat Meaning Framework.

The announcement explains, “A group of senior psychologists (Lucy Johnstone, Mary Boyle, John Cromby, David Harper, Peter Kinderman, David Pilgrim and John Read) and high profile service user campaigners (Jacqui Dillon and Eleanor Longden) spent five years developing the Power Threat Meaning Framework as an alternative to more traditional models based on psychiatric diagnosis. They were supported by researcher Kate Allsopp, by a consultancy group of service users/carers, and by many people who supplied examples of good practice that is not based on diagnosis.”

You can read the full Power Threat Meaning Framework or a shorter overview.

Find the original announcement here.

People’s Review of the Mental Health System

Share your story and help create a better mental-health system.

The people at Action Station have teamed up with Kyle MacDonald to create a People’s Review of the Mental-Health System. They want to gather together as many personal stories as possible, to convince our politicians of the need for improvements.

Their question to you is simple: what has your experience of the public mental health system been?

The public invitation goes on to say “Everyone has a story about mental health in New Zealand. Whether you work as a mental health professional, have experienced the mental health system directly yourself or someone in your family has, your story matters. We don’t need more statistics, the numbers already add up to make it clear that we have a crisis and need urgent action, and still nothing has been done. But personal stories can do what numbers cannot – they can move Ministers to action. Stories create empathy, and empathy creates change.

Find out more here.

reTHiNK Wellbeing Workshop in Auckland and Wellington

reTHinK Wellbeing is an innovative workshop to help you understand mental health, cope better with stress and distress, support others and flourish!

Last Auckland Date – 18th November

Coming to Wellington one day only – 3rd of December 10am- 3pm

The reTHiNK workshop concentrates on building wellbeing skills for yourself, and your workplaces as well as simple tips for supporting others going through stress and distress. Engaging and entertaining activities help workshop participants, experience, understand and empathise with symptoms of mental health challenges that you may not have had personally. It is relevant for any audience.

This year reTHiNK workshops have been facilitated for Peers as well as Police, Manufacturing, Retail, Corporate, Health, Builders, Tertiary, Professional Sport and Actors Equity to name a few, and the good folks at Mind and Body Consultants have received hundreds of handwritten testimonials on the value of these innovative workshops.

Book Now! Registrations Close on November 10th.

Auckland – http://www.eventfinda.co.nz/2015/rethink-madness/auckland/epsom

Wellington –  http://www.eventfinda.co.nz/2015/rethink-well-being/lower-hutt

Flyer_reTHiNK-Wellbeing---Auckland---November-2015-2

Atawhai Festival at Te Pou Theatre: 5-11 October 2015

A new festival is seeking to break down stigma around mental health through performance and workshops. The Atawhai Festival coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week which runs from October 5 to 11.  The week-long festival will draw together 40 performers, artists and speakers to New Lynn’s Te Pou theatre. Festival creator Borni Te Rongopai Tukiwaho says he had contacts in both the mental health sector and in performance and thought “why not bring them together”.

“I work with marginalised communities and I see the stigmas that society has of mental distress,” he says,  “but also, the expectations people have of themselves and the unfortunate consequences from feeling that it’s not OK to feel less than 100 per cent.” Tukiwaho has teamed up with the creator of the original re-THiNK festival, Taimi Allan to Reboot the Big re-THiNK on October 6th.

Other events include a workshop from Jack Trolove on how to talk about suicide and mental health through storytelling (Oct 6th), a wellness workshop with motivational speaker James Rakena Robinson (Oct 9th), a performance poetry showcase called Purerehua (Oct 7th) and performances by top national and international actors.

Atawhai takes place at Te Pou theatre
44a Portage Rd, New Lynn from October 5 to 11.

Visit the Atawhai Facebook Page for information about all events.

Go to iTicket.co.nz to book.

Cacophony: Hearing Voices Exhibition 1-11 October 2015

Art and Sound Collide for Mental Health Awareness

Cacophony_2015

Experience a unique interactive installation, featuring local artists, real stories and experiential soundscapes. Immerse yourself in the sometimes painful but always hopeful journey to recovery.

When: Opens Thursday October 1st 6 PM and runs to Sunday October 11th, 10 am-4:00 PM

Where: The Upstairs Art Gallery, Lopdell House 418 Titirangi Rd, Titirangi, Auckland

Find out more on Facebook.

Mental Health Awareness Week Calendar 5-11 October 2015

How will you be celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week?

Activities run from 5–11 October, the week of World Mental Health Awareness Day on October 10th.

The theme this year is Give and the Mental Health Foundation’s calendar of events is filled with wonderful ways to get involved across the country.

Engage Consideration: Dutch initiative challenges mainstream thinking about psychosis

This post highlights a relatively new Dutch initiative that works to promote a helpful way of thinking about experiences of psychosis. The team at Engage Aotearoa recently stumbled across it on Facebook and thought it was full of information others might like to consider – either in their own recovery or in their efforts to support others seeking recovery.

Jim van Os and others have created a website, manifesto and set of audio-visual ‘explanimations’ to help people understand psychotic experiences in a way that allows for meaning-making and hope for recovery.

Much of the website is in Dutch, but an English-language version of the core resources on the “Schizophrenia Doesn’t Exist” website is available. It’s a provocative title, but the project creators do not mean to say that extreme experiences like hallucinations and delusions do not exist.

If you are not much for reading, you can watch Jim van Os’s TED Talk and get it all in a 15-minute nutshell or explore the 2-minute ‘explanimations‘ about psychosis and recovery on the website.

Visit the Schizophrenia Doesn’t Exist English-language webpage to find everything in one place. 

The Manifesto outlines “14 Principles for Good Care of Psychosis”. The first 7 principles address current thinking that frames psychosis as a brain disorder called schizophrenia and set out evidence for an alternative – Psychosis Spectrum Syndrome or PSS. The final 7 principles set out a vision for recovery-based practice, these state…

“8: To recover from PSS, a person must be offered hope and perspective from the very first moment. Recovery is a psychological process. It is a process of learning to adapt and develop a new perspective. With support from people with lived experience of psychosis and, where necessary, from doctors and therapists who support the process of recovery.

9: Every person with PSS should have access to a person with lived experience of psychosis from the earliest phase of treatment. A person with lived experience is in a unique position to offer perspective and hope (‘I was able to recover as well’).

10: The primary goal of treatment is return to the person’s environment, education and/or work. Education and work are prerequisites for recovery: even if residual symptoms remain, people can start picking up where they left off. The practice to wait for full recovery is counterproductive.

11: Anyone who enters the mental health system with PSS should be encouraged to talk about their psychosis. The content of the psychosis should be seen as meaningful, and may represent the key to underlying issues.

12: Psycho-education should not introduce an unproven biomedical model of brain disease as a central theme.

13: Anyone who suffers from psychosis should have access to psychotherapy by an experienced therapist.

14: Antipsychotics may be necessary to reduce psychosis but do not correct an underlying biological abnormality. Antipsychotics are no cure. Much more attention is required for individual dose optimisation to reach the lowest possible dose and to avoid irrational polypharmacy.

Schizophrenia does not exist, which is a good thing.
Because much can be done about PSS.”

~ Quoted from, Manifesto: 14 Principles for Good Care of Psychosis. Schizophrenia Does Not Exist website, 12 July 2015.