Engage Aotearoa

Welcome to the Mental-Health News and Events Blog

VoiceBoxMEgaphone

 

 

This is a place for the community to find and share mental-health related news and events that could be of interest to people seeking recovery and/or their different supporters. Browse from the top to find the latest updates. Use the search bar or drop-down list on your right to find something specific.

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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.

Word the Front Line gives Young People a Voice

Word the Front Line is a youth slam programme that sees young people at secondary schools across New Zealand competing for the title of slam champion. Mental health themes are popping up in many of the videos from this year’s heats and you can find them here on SAPC’s Youtube channel.

One of our favourites comes from “Emma” at Rangitoto College.

The efficacy of a text messaging intervention for anxiety and depression among young people

One of Engage Aotearoa’s recovery resources, the Small Victories challenge, was included in the pilot of a text-messaging programme for young people with depression and anxiety at Youthline. The results of the evaluation were published last year in the Children and Youth Services Review.

Abstract
Background: Depression and anxiety are among the most commonly experienced mental health issues faced by young people in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Considerable barriers exist that prevent young people from engaging with face-to-face mental health services. Young people’s preference for technology-based counselling mediums such as text messaging opens up new pathways for intervention. Objective: A pilot text message-based intervention package was trialed for use by young people to evaluate the potential efficacy of the text package as an intervention for depression and anxiety symptoms.
Method: The text package was piloted using a 10-week longitudinal cohort pilot with 21 young participants (12– 24 years) who demonstrated mild to moderate anxiety and/or depression symptoms.
Results: Participants’ post-package scores were significantly lower than their pre-package scores for both anxiety (Z = −2.83, p = .005, r = −0.65) and depression (Z = −2.49, p = .013, r = −.056). ‘Feeling encouraged and supported’ increased as a result of receiving support from a trained supporter (Z = −2.06, p = .039, r = −0.45), but not from friends/family (Z = −1.72, p = .130, r = −0.37). Anxiety and depression scores did not change as a result of support from either trained supporters or friends/family.
Conclusions: Findings support the potential efficacy of the text package, justify wider trials of the text package, and support the use of text message-based interventions as potentially effective therapies for young people.

Read the full-text article by David Anstiss and Amber Davies here.

We’re Still Here

You will probably have noticed that things have been quiet on the Engage Aotearoa front over the last couple of years. We are still here, but we’ve been in hibernation while I completed the last two years of my doctorate. While we were in hibernation, the scale of things shrunk a bit, so we are now back to the original ‘team’ who built the site back in 2009, myself and Daniel Larsen-Barr. We’ll be slowly gearing back up again soon. But in the meantime background wheels are still turning.

We’ve already got some things on the horizon, namely the next volume of Butterfly Diaries with the final two stories, a call for stories from young people for a special youth volume of The Butterfly Diaries, and a bunch of worksheets from Engage Group, which I think are about over-due for being put online where anyone can find them. I’ve always been reluctant to put them online because I think CBT worksheets are hard and sometimes distressing to do alone without any guidance to go with them. So I’m going to add a sheet of tips to go with each one and you’ll see them start to appear over the next few months. I added the Thriving Lives Worksheet to the Coping Resources page not long ago, so check it out if you haven’t seen it already.

And any day now I will return to adding new strategies to the Coping Kete on a regular basis.

All the best,

Miriam

 

Transgender Awareness Week 2015: Nov 14-20

Transgender awareness week starts on November 14th and finishes up on November 20th, the ninth annual Trans Day of Remembrance.

Trans on Campus  from The University of Auckland, Rainbow Youth and GenderBridge (pdf), have teamed up to organised two Trans Awareness Week events in Auckland, including a one-day symposium, Transacademia.

Learn more for Transgender Awareness Week…

Inside Out

Rainbow Youth: Queer and Trans Info Pages

 

Psychology Week 9-15 November 2015

Psychology Week takes place across NZ and Australia from the 9th to the 15th of November. This initiative aims to increase public awareness of how psychology can help people, families/whanau and communities find ways to increase their psychological wellbeing.  The theme of the NZ Psychology Week is “living life well”. Find a free talk in a town near you at www.psychology.org.nz/pd-events/psychology-week/

Psychology week AKLD

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.