Changing Minds Trust
Changing Minds Trust has operated since 1999. The organisation was originally established as The Council for Mental Wellbeing when a group of service users were seeking assistance in sourcing social inclusion resources and information as well as assistance navigating through social organisations and systems. They wanted these things to be offered to all of those people living in the community who had been engaged in mental health and/or addiction services. This was an open group which worked to accommodate and support service users who had concerns or queries about the mental health services currently available. This group took an active part in the development of consumer participation within the mental health arena both locally and nationally. The Council for Mental Wellbeing at that time carried a vision to improve the participation of consumers in all areas of mental health decision making.
To enable The Council for Mental Wellbeing to operate in a professional capacity and to develop credibility it was decided that the next logical step was to seek Trust status. This was achieved in 2000. At the same time the Council achieved a small window of opportunity to tender for and was successful in obtaining the Auckland Regional Consumer Networking Contract with 3 full time employees (FTE). The Contract was a regional service sourcing FTEs from all four DHBs. Auckland District Health Board, Counties Manukau District Health Board, Waitemata District Health Board and Northland District Health Board.
As part of that process the CMWBT was required to identify an umbrella organisation to help support and develop the Council into a robust organisation. Richmond Fellowship was selected for this facility and a Memorandum of Understanding was developed between the two organisations.
This arrangement continued for two years and in 2002 the Council succeeded in becoming functional in its own right. Prior to 2003 the Northland consumer networking was delivered by what was then called the Auckland Regional Consumer Network.
In 2003 a Memorandum of Understanding was developed with the Te Tai Tokerau Whai Ora Network to support them to become independent. Funding from the Northland District Health Board was re-allocated to Te Tai Tokerau Whai Ora Network based in Whangarei.
In 2010 it was decided that the socio-political environment called for a different approach to service delivery. CMWBT underwent a re-visioning and strategic planning process to re-orient itself to the changing conditions and to become an evidence-based, responsive, valuable community resource hub for information, community connections, recovery resources and links to other community inclusion resources.
In 2012 a survey was put out to the organisation’s members to help decide on a new name – Changing Minds.
Changing Minds Trust continued to operate from 2012 – 2016 with 2 full time employees and one part-time employee.
In 2017 Changing Minds Trust was successful in securing the Health Promotion Agencies ‘Lived Experience Leaders’ Initiative’ (now Rākau Roroa), which supports both Like Minds, Like Mine and the National Depression Initiative.
These two core pieces of work have extended Changing Minds’ reach nationally and have increased staff size to 6 employees.