Engage Aotearoa

Category Archives: For Professionals

Events, news and resources for people who work in or around the mental-health sector

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.

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.

Matua Raki Workforce Innovation Awards Close 31 July

There are just two more weeks left to apply for the Matua Raki Workforce Innovation Awards

Share your workplace innovations that are improving wellbeing and staff engagement in addiction services. Examples of innovations include work-life initiatives, job or team re-designs that improve effective practice, staff contributions to improve service delivery, professional development initiatives and environmental innovations.

Applications are open until 31 July.

Find out more or download an entry form here

On Track: Knowing where we are going

More than 200 people from across the mental health and addiction sector and the wider health and social sectors have contributed to a report, co-published by Te Pou and Platform Trust, that aims to prepare NGO mental health and AOD services for “the next round of reform”.

“On Track: Knowing where we are going outlines the wide range of issues that need to be considered and addressed to improve health outcomes for people using services, their whānau and local communities, and to ensure the future capability of the mental health and addiction workforce”.

Mental Health and Wellbeing of Young People Seminar, Auckland

Featuring leading experts in the field, the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Young People Seminar provides practically relevant information and strategies that can be applied to support young people achieve their potential.

Targeted at mental health professionals, teachers, social/youth workers, parents and young people themselves, the seminar features topics such as body image and disordered eating, video-game addiction, adolescent brain development, supporting young people with a learning disability and many others.

Date/Time: Friday, 28th August, 9am-5pm
Location/Address: Bruce Mason Centre, Cnr Hurstmere Road and The Promenade, Takapuna Beach
Contact Generation Next: Ph: 09 363 9697, E: info@generationnext.co.nz
For Further Information:  www.generationnext.co.nz/

Mental Health Foundation Launches Mindfulness Posters

The Mental Health Foundation’s graphic designer Amy Mackinnon has created a series of posters that share the basic practices behind mindfulness. The A2 posters are available in a set of three from the Mental Health Foundation’s new webstore for $39 including postage and packaging.

Each sale is equivalent to the cost of one child in a low decile NZ school attending the Mental Health Foundation’s Pause, Breathe, Smile  eight-week mindfulness course. By purchasing these posters, you’re supporting the Mental Health Foundation to deliver mindfulness training to primary and intermediate students in their school classrooms nationwide.

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.

 

 

Job Opportunity at Connect SR in Auckland

Are you looking for an exciting role where you can make a difference using your personal experience of mental ill health and recovery?  If the answer is yes, then this might be the job for you!

Connect Supporting Recovery are looking for people whose passion is peer support to join their North Shore/Rodney team.

Peer support is a challenging role, which requires tenacity, resilience and a sense of humour. It is also a rewarding role where you can use your own experience of recovery from mental ill health to make a difference in the lives of others.

The role of Peer Support Worker will require of you to build a relationship with others based on a common experience of recovery from mental distress. The relationship fosters mutual learning and growth and is strongly focused on supporting people to make positive changes in their lives.

If you are interested in the above position, please send your expression of interest in a cover letter and CV quoting reference PSWRO to the following address:
The Administrator
PO Box 102149
North Shore Mail Centre 0745
Or via email to: admin@connectsr.org.nz

Find out more about this role here.

Applications close at 5pm on Wednesday the 8th July 2015

Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.