Engage Aotearoa

About Engage

Engage Aotearoa is a service-user led, private psychology practice and public recovery promotion project with one simple aim: help make it easier for people to find what they need to recover from a mental-health problem or support someone they care about.

Engage Aotearoa was initially created by Miriam Larsen-Barr (that’s me) and Daniel Larsen-Barr in 2009, back before we shared a surname. I wrote the content out of my Master’s research, which explored the outcomes of a transdiagnostic anxiety support programme I designed and implemented at Youthline in 2008 called Engage Group. Engage Group was informed by the research literature filtered through service-user perspectives gleaned from my own recovery journey, my work within community support services, and my time within the service-user movement. Daniel taught himself how to build websites to create an online home for the resources that grew out of the group. We were joined by several different volunteers over the years and even tried to operate as a charity for a while, but as life grew busier we no longer had time for all the administrative tasks this entailed and things needed to be simplified. Daniel taught me what I needed to know to manage the website on my own and Engage Aotearoa returned to its original form as a self-funded voluntary initiative, with the addition of a small private psychology practice to sustain it.

Many thanks to the people who have been part of the Engage Aotearoa journey over the years… 

  • Daniel Larsen-Barr (Website construction) 
  • Diane Hewitt (Volunteer and CMHRT board)
  • Catherine Beyer (Volunteer)
  • Michelle Bolton Durey (CMHRT board)
  • Sheree Veysey (CMHRT board)
  • Taimi Allan (CMHRT board)
  • Emma Edwards (CMHRT board) 
  • Ken Larsen (CMHRT board)
  • Amber Davies (Engage Group facilitator)
  • Kirk Vette (Engage Group facilitator)
  • Kelly Thomas (Engage Group facilitator)