Engage Aotearoa

Tag Archives: Mental Health Foundation Of 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.

Seen the New Mental Health Foundation Webstore yet?

The Mental Health Foundation of NZ has launched a new webstore and it’s open and ready for orders!

With a fresh new look and loads of easy to find items, the webstore is “brimming with, books, pamphlets, CDs, reports and handy new features.”

They have all their usual stock in-store and some new items as well, like two new Mental Health Foundation research reports focusing on discrimination and social inclusion: Young people’s experience of discrimination in relation to mental health issues in Aotearoa New Zealand and What works: Positive experiences in open employment of mental health service users.

Pilot Study Puts Mindfulness in NZ Schools

A November 16th article from Stuff.co.nz highlights the results of a pilot study by the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand showing a mindfulness in primary schools programme may have “improved students’ self-control, attentiveness, respect for other classmates and enhanced the school’s mood.”

The eight-week programme includes:

  • “Week One: Coming Home: Introduction to mindful breathing – and mindful movements like ‘opening the curtains’, ‘the penguin’ and ‘seaweed’.
  • Two: Happiness Here and Now: Exploring the difference in happiness – how material things offer a temporary boost, whereas actions create a sustainable sense of wellbeing. Encouraging children to foster friendships and be kind.
  • Three: Everything for the First Time: Experiencing things freshly in each moment, helping students appreciate newness and things they often take for granted rather than getting stuck in unhelpful habits.
  • Four: All things Rising and Falling: Exploring physical sensations in the body. By now, children are aware their breathing is always rising and falling. Now that’s extended to emotions and how emotional states are ‘triggered’.
  • Five: Moving Still: Using a mind-jar (a glass jar filled with water and glitter) and engaging in the ‘neuron dance’, students learn about the brain and how mindfulness can settle a scattered mind.
  • Six: Kind Heart, Happy Heart: Mindful breathing, sending kind thoughts and practising gratitude.
  • Seven: Everything is Connected to Everything Else: Seeing the different connections between things and how being isolated and alone can be harmful.
  • Eight: Touching Base, Touching stillness: Kids bring in an object that reminds them to practice mindfulness.”

Click here to read the full article.

MindNet Issue 31 Out

Issue 31 – part one


In this issue of MindNet Michelle Hull discusses how lack of sleep affects wellbeing and how you can get a better night’s ‘kip’.

Sitting Fit is one way older people can become engaged in exercise. Find out how septuagenarian fitness instructor Shirley Waterfield inspires her classes.

Sophia Graham shares the special meaning ‘neighbourliness’ has for her in light of our recent 3rd annual Neighbours Day (23-24 March).

Vaea Hutchens tells us about a special Christchurch project to empower Māori families who have family members with experience of mental illness.

And, we have a unique opportunity for MindNet readers to view NZ Mental Health Media Grant fellow Guy Frederick’s photojournalism exhibition The Space Between Words. The exhibition is now available online especially for people who have not been able to see it in Christchurch or Wellington.

Guy has the chance to win an Australasian award for this project and would really appreciate your feedback on the exhibition and the inspiring stories that 14 Cantabrians have shared. Once you have viewed the exhibition (or if you have already done so) please share your thoughts by taking the survey.

Finally, the reading list for this issue is about creating a balanced life.

If you can recommend a wellness or mental health promotion service, project or programme that we could feature in MindNet – or would like to contribute an article yourself – please email mindnet@mentalhealth.org.nz

From the MindNet team

Subscription details

Subscribe to MindNet.

Press Release: Details Confirmed for Mike King’s Community Korero and Kaitaia College Seminars

Press Release: Engage Aotearoa & Key to Life Charitable Trust

For Immediate Release | 20 Feb 2013

Mike King Visits Kaitaia to Throw Solutions at Suicide 

Popular comedian and radio talk-show host Mike King will visit Kaitaia on the 5th and 6th of March for a series of seminars to reduce suicide in the Far North. On the evening of the 5th, King will lead a Community Korero at Te Ahu, accompanied by musician Ruia Aperahama (What’s the Time Mr Wolf, Southside of Bombay, Songs from the Inside). The following day, King and Aperahama will present two seminars for junior and senior students at Kaitaia College, called It’s Cool to Korero.

In It’s Cool to Korero, King will talk with Kaitaia College students about how he survived growing up. Mike’s is the story of a kid who wanted to fit in. It is about wanting to be part of the cool group but being 4’11 with buck teeth and big ears and needing a miracle to make it happen. Then one day he discovered he had a gift to make people laugh and he went from being bullied, to being liked and then many years later becoming a bully himself. Mike will share tips on how to deal with bullies and also why bullies do what they do. Most of all, he will speak about why it is important to talk rather than “have conversations with yourself.”  King says his main point is that “in life there will always be hurdles and heartbreak, but with perseverance, support and an attitude of hope, great things will happen.”

Mike King’s Community Korero will take place at Te Ahu from 6 – 8 pm on Tuesday the 5th of March. Entry is free and all are welcome. At the Community Korero, King will speak about his battle with depression, addiction and his ongoing journey back to recovery, including the mistakes he made along the way and the things that made a difference. He will discuss the things he learnt from the hard times and how all those mistakes were blessings in disguise. Both talks will be followed by an opportunity to ask questions and share strategies. This is a not-to-be-missed chance for the community to come together and explore how to support our rangatahi and each other to survive and thrive. Stacks of useful free resources will be available for community members to take away for later use. King says, “It is time to stop throwing negatives at the problem of suicide and time to start throwing positives at a solution!”

This initiative was organised by ex-Kaitaia College student, Miriam Larsen-Barr, who operates a mental-health promotion project called Engage Aotearoa and is currently completing a doctorate in clinical psychology in Auckland. Visiting home for the summer, Larsen-Barr was struck by how many sad stories and suicides had happened in the community in the past year.  Larsen-Barr says “I do all this work in other places to promote helpful ways of thinking about mental-health problems and make it easier to approach recovery. It seemed wrong to come home to holiday and not share those resources with the town that grew me.

Mike King is best known for his role as a comedian and host of the Radio Live talk-show The Nutters Club. But King is also involved in The Key to Life Charitable Trust, an organisation that aims to achieve a zero suicide-rate in New Zealand.  King and Larsen-Barr met through their shared passion for preventing suicide (both have been working on projects to tell people’s recovery stories) and when King received the call to make a difference in Kaitaia, he leapt at the chance. King and Aperahama are both donating their time to the cause, The Mental-Health Foundation of NZ is providing additional take-home resources and local organisations Te Runanga o Te Rarawa and The Beachcomber Restaurant have sponsored the initiative to ensure it goes ahead.

More information can be found on Engage Aotearoa’s Mental-Health News and Events Blog at http://www.engagenz.co.nz/?p=3989

_ _ _ _ ENDS _ _ _ _


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/

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.