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Tag Archives: Media Release

New Bilingual Recovery Stories up on Kai Xin Xing Dong Website

Strive to do your best but understand there is no perfect parent

MEDIA RELEASE: Mental Health Foundation of NZ

19 November

It is 10 ten years since Kelly first arrived at Auckland airport to make New Zealand her home. Now she is a mother of two lovely daughters, one of them a Dragon Baby.

Kelly is also a full time worker, a wife, daughter and chair of Baby Ferns Inc– and sometimes this is stressful.

“I am so thankful for the support and love my mother gave to me. On the other hand, I have to acknowledge it’s not always easy to live in a household with three generations.”

Kelly’s story is the final is a series run by Kai Xin Xing Dong – the Mental Health Foundation’s bilingual English-Mandarin Like Minds, Like Mine programme. The series highlights the challenges Chinese parents face bringing up their newborn “dragon babies” in New Zealand society.

The Mental Health Foundation understands that new parents need help and support and, sometimes, just by knowing where to find these can be all you need to feel more confident. We hope by reading these parents’ stories people will not feel so alone. The stories also give lots of practical advice for the first years of a child’s life and beyond. They also touch on post natal depression and where to get help.

The Mental Health Foundation also supplies an excellent free postnatal depression pamphlet for English speakers.

The end of the Dragon Baby series coincides with Postnatal Awareness Week 17-25 November, and the series as a whole was launched at the same time as the Chinese Mental Health Consultation Services’ new Vagus helpline.

All stories are published online in English and Mandarin.

Vagus Line 0800 56 76 666

This new service is to promote family harmony among Chinese, enhance parenting skills, decrease conflict among family members (couple, parent-child, in-laws) and stop family violence. It provides free, confidential and professional advice, such as parenting strategies and communication skills. If necessary, clients can be referred to Vagus counselling services or related resources. Service hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 12 noon to 2pm.

Year of the Dragon 

2012 is the Chinese Year of the Dragon and has given rise to the phrase “dragon baby” for families expecting a new arrival. The dragon is the mightiest zodiac sign in Chinese astrology, and is associated with traits such as success, ambition and independence. Many mothers consider this to be a particularly auspicious year to give birth. In recognition of this, we have made a special Dragon Baby section on the Kai Xin Xing Dong website, where we offer Chinese language information for new and expectant mothers.

Kai Xin Xing Dong 

Kai Xin Xing Dong is a Like Minds, Like Mine public education programme aimed at reducing the stigma and discrimination faced by Chinese people who experience mental illness. The project is funded by the Ministry of Health and guided by the Kai Xin Xing Dong Advisory Group.

For more information please contact: 

Paula Taylor
Communications & Marketing Manager
09 300 7025
021 300 594

For comment in Mandarin, please contact: 

Ivan Yeo
Mental Health Promoter
Ph: (09) 300 7017
027 2808 972


Big White Wall Launched

ADHB Media Release
November 1, 2012
Online mental health service a Kiwi first

ADHB has become the first health organisation in New Zealand to roll-out a free online self-help service aimed at improving emotional wellbeing for people in need.

Known as Big White Wall, the service is aimed at people aged 16-plus who are experiencing a mild-to-moderate mental health problem. It has helped 8500 people in the UK to date.

“Users can log on and access the service at any time, 24 hours-a-day, allowing self-help, peer support and further help where needed,” said Robert Ford, ADHB Planning and Funding Manager for Mental Health and Addictions.

“This is an innovative way of reaching out to help people in need of support and ADHB is proud to be leading the way for our community.

“The service provides safe, anonymous support and operates on social media principles allowing online users to have control over how much information they share and with whom.

“Big White Wall fosters a supportive online environment focusing on recovery and wellness that allows people having a tough time to befriend others with common experiences without fear of stigma.”

The service provides an early intervention system as soon as an issue arises and can also be used as a support for people with severe mental illness to keep them out of hospital.

It offers a range of clinically-informed interventions to improve mental wellbeing and is staffed by mental health professionals who ensure the full engagement, safety and anonymity of members.

“One-in-four of us will experience anxiety, depression or other common mental health problems during our lives,” Mr Ford said.

“It can be hard to talk about worries or concerns, usually for fear of what others may think, so asking for help can be difficult. Now there is an option available for people within the ADHB healthcare population area who may not yet feel ready to make a formal appointment with a mental health service.”

People can self-refer if they have a post code within the ADHB area or can be referred by GPs, clinical services or relevant non-government organisations.

Activities and services include:

Talkabouts: Members can talk to others in the Big White Wall community who share similar experiences. They can also engage with Wall Guides (counsellors), who are online at all times to ensure everyone is safe on Big White Wall.

Distress tests: Members can take ‘distress tests’; find out more about topics ranging from anxiety and depression, to coping with redundancy and alcohol problems. They can also find out more to help them understand their worries and concerns and how to move forward.

Creative art and writing therapies: It can sometimes be difficult putting feelings into words. Members can vent and express how they feel in images by making ‘Bricks’ on The Wall.

For more information, go to www.bigwhitewall.com


For further information, please contact Robert Ford on 021 985 965.

2012 Budget Press release from Community Voices

Does Budget 2012 deliver?

Thursday, 24 May 2012, 4:51 pm
Press Release: COMVOICES

For immediate release
24 May 2012

Does Budget 2012 deliver?

ComVoices members, a network of community and voluntary sector organisations, were hoping to see a much greater emphasis on policies that focused on closing the gap between the wealthiest in New Zealand and the numerous families living in poverty right now.

The Government had signaled a willingness to address some ofNew Zealand’s toughest social issues with the 2012 Budget. Making sure that our young people have the skills to succeed, addressingNew Zealand’s shameful imprisonment rates and taking steps to improve fundamental services such as early childhood and primary teaching all illustrate this.

However, overall a zero budget fails to recognise the impact that inequality is having on our communities right now and the long term drag inequality creates in our sector. Dave Henderson, Coordinator for the Association of Non-Governmental Organisations of Aotearoa (ANGOA), said communities needed support to address the marginalisation of low income New Zealanders.

“This budget, combined with the welfare reforms, puts the squeeze on our most vulnerable members of society. To really get results we must tackle the critical issue of inequality, including the horrific impact of child poverty.

Ric Odom, Chair of ComVoices, says that the Government’s focus on a few distinct results was a strong start in refocusing the whole system towards delivering more for New Zealanders. However, to be successful would require a much greater focus on involving community organisations in the delivery of those results.

“The Government’s ‘results’ focus should be a chance to realign the whole system. Simply doing the same thing we have been doing is not going to create real change.”

“Sector organisations have long worked for this approach, but the Government’s results focus will only address our most intractable social issues if the public service truly involves communities and all those that serve in the action plan development and implementation.”

Vanisa Dhiru, Chief Executive of Volunteering New Zealand, said that to achieve the results the Government wants will require a truly collaborative effort between public organisations and communities.

“Targets and action plans will not be effective if they are developed by government agencies behind closed doors with the same people asking the same questions and giving each other the same answers.”

“The public services must be open to grassroots innovation, learning and collaborative opportunities within the community. Doing that will make successful results that much more certain,” Ms Dhiru said.

The Community and Voluntary Sector contributes more than 4.9 per cent of GDP (including volunteer hours), similar to the contribution of the construction industry. Volunteer labour in 2010 was estimated to be 270 million hours, which translates into $3.5 billion. Volunteering is not restricted to the Community Sector. A lot of core central and local government work is also actively supported by volunteers, for example: the Coastguard, Police, Prisons, and Search and Rescue. The Sector is a significant contributor to the social and economic health ofNew Zealand.


Media Release: New figures show older people significant portion of society

Age Concern New Zealand: Media Release: 15 May 2012:

New figures show older people significant portion of society

Age Concern New Zealand says new figures show the significant portion of society older people make up.

The figures, released yesterday by Statistics New Zealand, show those over 80 are the fastest growing age-group with the age group growing at about four times the rate of 20 years ago.

There are presently more than 160,000 New Zealanders aged over 80 but Statistics New Zealand estimates this number could reach half a million by 2050.

Age Concern New Zealand Chief Executive Ann Martin says this is great news for our country.

“People living longer, healthier lives has to be a positive.

“Older people are some of our most active volunteers, as well as an invaluable source of wisdom.

“It also means more older people will be able to stay in their own homes for longer and to care for those less able.”

However, Age Concern believes planning by all sectors of society will be required to meet a range of service demands.

“For Age Concern, it means we need to plan to be able to respond to the current and future needs and demand for our services.

An older population means more people who are isolated and lonely which will require visiting services such as Age Concern Accredited Visiting Services.

“There are also likely to be more people of this 80 year old age group being abused and requiring our prevention and intervention services,” she says.

Age Concern is calling for more government research, policy and planning on matters concerning older people.

“There doesn’t appear to be a lot of positive focus on seniors right now.

“Many people over 80 have complex needs but want to remain in their own homes with support. Government is aware of this and needs to make home-based care a priority.

“Those who can’t remain at home will need good residential care and for people needing acute treatment they will continue to need access to hospital beds and good primary health.”

Martin says these statistics also mean there is likely to be more older people surviving solely on the NZS only, which is difficult with rising costs.

“It would be wise for all of us who are not yet 80 to give some thought to how we wish to spend the latter year of our lives and to begin planning for this. Develop social networks and find out about local support services.”


Media contact: Lucy Johnston, Communications & Marketing Manager, Age Concern New Zealand – ph 04 801 9338

Human Rights Commission Calls for Inquiry into NZSL

Media release: Human Rights Commission announces formal public inquiry into NZSL

Manahau e-newsletter: English text and full NZSL translation