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In Touch Autumn Newsletter from Mental Health Foundation of NZ

The Mental Health Foundation’s InTouch Autumn Newsletter is out now. Follow the link below to download it as a pdf.


Webinars on Preventing Maori Suicide: Schedule for 2013

The Mental Health Foundation – in collaboration with Office of the Pro Vice Chancellor Māori, Victoria University of Wellington – will be hosting a series of free webinars about Māori suicide prevention in 2013.

The webinars will address the issue of Māori suicide from an indigenous perspective. The invited presenters are Māori practitioners, researchers and leaders who will speak from their own personal and professional experiences in Māori suicide prevention.

For many people, New Zealand’s high suicide rates – especially for Māori – can seem overwhelming. We hope these webinars increase understanding of what can be done to prevent suicide, and increase viewers’ capacity to help vulnerable people in their own whānau and communities.

The webinar schedule is:

Each webinar will run from 12:30 – 1:30pm, and we hope about half of this time will be spent answering viewers’ questions.

If you would like to attend these free webinars, please RSVP here: http://suicidepreventioninformationnewzealand.eventbrite.co.nz/

Vacancy at Mental Health Foundation Christchurch

The Mental Health Foundation of NZ currently have a new job vacancy advertised on their website, to appoint a newfull time  Southern Development Manager in their Christchurch office. 

Closing date for applications is: Friday 14th December 2012

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


The Kiwi Men’s Survey

Media Release

Mental Health Foundation of NZ: 25/10/2012

How do stressed New Zealand men get help when they need it?

Nobody’s too sure – that’s why the Mental Health Foundation is working with Open Polytechnic researcher Dr Peta Wellstead on a new project called “The information seeking behaviour of New Zealand men who may be experiencing life stress”.

Part of the project is a Kiwi men’s survey.

“From the survey, we will measure knowledge of information and support services, social network strength, pathways to help and support that men have used in the past,” Mental Health Foundation Chief Executive Judi Clements says.

“We are doing this in order to better target information and support when men are experiencing life stress that may impact on their mental health.”

Dr Wellstead is leading the project for the MHF. She says: “The Mental Health Foundation approached me after I presented a paper at the Wellbeing and Public Policy conference. My paper reported my PhD research which examined the information behaviour of Australian men.

“My [next] project will examine where New Zealand men go to for information, who they talk to and what works and doesn’t work when they are experiencing stressful life events and may need extra help and support.

“We will conduct an online survey during November (which is also Movember) and ask men questions about their information use. The Mental Health Foundation will then use the data I produce from the survey to provide information, products and support services to men in a more targeted way in order to improve their health outcomes.”

Opportunities will be explored for conducting community workshops throughout New Zealand and for presentations at conferences, both domestically and internationally.

The online survey is being promoted to men via a range of websites and communications, including through publicity for this year’s Movember campaign.

Dr Wellstead is the first Open Polytechnic first staff member to be approved ‘research focused’ status for two projects by the Open Polytechnic Research Committee.

Open Polytechnic is government-owned and funded, delivering courses throughout New Zealand and internationally.




Stigma Watch is Here: Get Involved!

A new project, Stigma Watch, is now up and running. Details are below. If you would like to join the Facebook group please let Katrina know at the email address below and she will send you an invitation.

Stigma Watch is a group which enables members of the public to access and respond to media articles or portrayals that may be stigmatising to those with experience of mental illness.

The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand will disseminate potentially stigmatising articles to members of the group. Members can then respond directly to media outlets, in their capacity as either:

a)      Individual members of the public; or

b)      Spokespeople for their organisations*

* Spokespeople  must check with their managers that they are allowed to speak on behalf of their organisation. Many organisations will have official communications departments who issue all statements. If in doubt, ask!

The Stigma Watch process

Anyone who is interested in keeping abreast of New Zealand media articles addressing mental health issues can join Stigma Watch. To be added to the database, just email NewsAlerts@mentalhealth.org.nz with the Subject: Join database.

Regular emails will be sent directly to your email address. You can also, should you wish, join the Stigma Watch Facebook group where you can discuss articles with other group members. These conversations will be private to the group.

If you feel that an article requires a response, you should respond directly to the media outlet.

Where Like Minds fits in

Stigma Watch is part of the Like Minds programme. However, please do not respond as Like Minds or as a Like Minds spokesperson. If you are a provider, you may refer to yourself as such, but any responses made will come from you or your organisation, not Like Minds.

Where the Mental Health Foundation fits in

The Mental Health Foundation will provide administrative support for the Stigma Watch database and Facebook page. Any responses to media articles from the Mental Health Foundation will come from the Chief Executive and will not be part of Stigma Watch.

Why won’t the Mental Health Foundation get involved in responses?

They do! The Mental Health Foundation sends many responses to media articles every year. But what Like Minds now needs is a bigger pool of responders who are speaking on their own behalf. The more responses an article gets, the more likely the media organisation is to sit up and take notice.

Mental Health Foundation communications team

The Mental Health Foundation communications team does not have the capacity to provide any services to those who wish to respond to articles (e.g. proof reading). The role of the Mental Health Foundation is purely administrative.

If you have any questions about Stigma Watch, please email Katrina: Katrina@mentalhealth.org.nz.

Flourish – Well into the Future One-Day Wellbeing Forum: 30 July 2012 Christchurch

The Mental Health Foundation’s second biennial wellbeing forum, Flourish – Well into the Future, and hope that you’ve diaried the event on 30 July.

Now they can share more about the exciting line-up of keynote day presenters (Niki Harre, Aaron Jarden, Tony Fernando, Eve Neitzert and Monique Faleafa) and the local Canterbury heroes at the evening function (Steve Gurney, Coralie Winn, Adam McGrath, Bob Frame, Henry Sunderland and Jade Temepara).

You can read the programme for the day and check out local transport and accommodation.

The Mental Health Foundation of NZ invite you to join  this one-day event and find out ways that you can develop and create environments that support and grow good mental health.

Like Minds Website Evaluation

This survey is for all users of the Like Minds website and will be compared to previous survey results to evaluate how effective the site is and what needs to be updated.

Please take a moment to fill it out.


Everest in a Day for Depression

Runner attempts Everest in a Day at North Head to beat depression

Malcolm Law is in his 50s but he is determined to run the equivalent of an Everest ascent in 24 hours at North Head on 21 April.

Trail running aficionado and founder of Running Wild, Malcolm will use the ‘Everest in Day’ event as a build up to his biggest ever physical and mental challenge – where he will attempt to run the entire length of the UK’s longest footpath, the South West Coast Path, in one go! That’s 1014 km, the equivalent of four ascents of Mt. Everest!

Not only has this never been done before, but Malcolm hopes to do this in just 15 days. Put another way, they will be running over 1.5 marathons every day for 15 days over terrain that is a challenge for even the strongest hikers.


Malcolm will be joined on the UK run by fellow Englishman Tom Bland, whom he has never met.

The pair hooked up as running mates in their desire to push themselves to the limit while raising awareness of depression – Tom raising money for Mind in the UK and Malcolm for the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.

Malcolm’s commitment to mental health and wellbeing really kicked in after he found the body of his 25-year-old, journalist, brother-in-law and friend, Max, who had taken his own life. He is a firm believer that physical activity and goal setting can help ease the symptoms of depression.

Also in preparation for the BIG run, Malcolm, who is now living in New Zealand, will be trying to beat his best time over the rugged Hillary Trail in the Waitakere Ranges on Easter Friday. His best time for the 75km hill run is 13 hours 50 minutes, but he hopes to slash that by an hour.

Local businessman Jacques Delange of Format Ltd has sponsored him $30 per minute he takes off the time, and Malcolm is asking others to sponsor him and/or make a pledge to the UK run in June.

Key Dates

  1. 6 April – Hilary Trail personal best challenge, Waitakere Ranges
  2. 12 midday to 12 midnight, 21 April – Everest in a Day, North Head, Devonport
  3. June – Follow the pair as they run the South West Coast Path

Like Minds Big reTHiNK Opens

The Like Minds Big reTHiNK is Go for Launch!

This year, you can be part of a month-long international arts festival with a mental health twist. Like Minds want your help to create a global mind-altering series of events THIS OCTOBER!

The Like Minds Big reTHiNK launches on March 1stand dares creative people from around the world to submit entertaining, engaging and thought provoking “scripts” for a public event that reduces the stigma associated with mental illness / unwellness / distress / being human.  A ‘script’ is just the written down version of an idea, to allow a third party to perform it.

The best ‘scripts’ will receive a Big reTHiNK Script Award designed by New Zealand Sculptor Frank Woodward, be professionally produced for The Big reTHiNK event at Q Theatre on the 2nd to the 6th of October 2012 and be published in The Big reTHiNK book. All remaining scripts that have met the challenge will go into a pool to be provided to registered Regional Event Organisers around the world for the production of Regional reTHiNK events from the 7th – 30th October 2012. Performers, directors and crew members can register their interest in being involved in their area, so truly everyone can take part.

The outcome is a month of mind-altering events that improve public attitudes as they entertain. Visit the brand new reTHiNK website from March 1st to find out more and register your interest. www.rethink.org.nz

Key Dates Key Milestones
01 March Script Submissions Open
30 May Script Submissions Close
30 June Script Selections for The Big reTHiNK and Regional reTHiNK Script Pool are announced
Regional Event Organiser Registration Deadline
Performer, Crew & Director Expressions of Interest Deadline
9 July – 9 Aug Casting Period for Regional reTHiNK Events: 9 August Submit Cast List to reTHiNK
10 Aug – 6 Oct Rehearsal Period for Regional reTHiNK Events
26 August Open Casting Call for The Big reTHiNK at The Vault, Q Theatre
30 August The Big reTHiNK Cast Announcements
1 September Major Promotions Period Begins
The Big reTHiNK  Rehearsal Period Begins
1 October The Big reTHiNK Pack-In and Tech Rehearsal at Q Theatre – Rangatira Stage
2 October The Big reTHiNK Invite-Only Opening Event at Q Theatre – Rangatira Stage
3 – 5 October The Big reTHiNK Public Performances at Q Theatre – Rangatira Stage
6 October The Big reTHiNK Charity Awards Gala at Q Theatre – Rangatira Stage
7 –  30 October The Like Minds reTHiNK Regional Events [Note: Mental Health Awareness Week is 8 – 14 October]