Changing Minds leads collaborative social change projects to improve mental health and wellbeing for communities and people. We also provide up-to-date information on mental health and social development initiatives across Aotearoa.
We advocate for choice and the self-determination of people struggling with their well-being to choose the options they feel will best help their recovery. We help make the journey through Mental Health and addiction services less frightening by matching people with the services and communities that best fit, and we help to create a societal culture of understanding, acceptance and social inclusion by helping the government, services, educators, families, workplaces and the public offer confident and non-discriminatory support.
Suicide Prevention Strategy Forum
Changing Minds hosted a public Suicide Prevention Strategy workshop to talk about the issue and get feedback on the strategy proposed by the Ministry of Health.
There were many questions about the strategy and suicide in general which were answered to the best of their ability by a panel of guests, and an opportunity for further discussion was undertaken in small groups at the end of the day. Read the full workshop discussion feedback here.
Some examples of the questions and themes explored are below:
Several questions were centred around what was significantly different about this strategy document in comparison to earlier strategies, there seemed to be no link to previous learnings, nor comments on what we had learned so far from previous actions or programmes (good and bad) in this space.
• There was a “nod” to the WHO guidelines in the documents preamble but then the guidelines themselves (funding to determine outcome measures, social determinants, restriction to means, early intervention etc) were notably absent.
• The strategy is lacking clear leadership and lines of accountability.
• The strategy is too general, and not ambitious or inspiring.
• The feedback from every one of our break out workshops was that Police should STOP being the ‘access point’ for people in distress.
• A lot of suicidal and self-harming thoughts and actions are never reported to health providers (self-stigma, fear of discrimination/impact)
• Focusing on tech interventions (alone/ in isolation) loses the vital aspect of face to face
• There were many comments about how the language used in the strategy needs to change. People agreed that it could use more verbs. More action words. Each action point should be completed with the word “by” to give specific actions and examples. It was also pointed out that the word “timely” access was only used once in the document (section 6, Page 18) and yet is an integral term in preventing death.
• People commented that some specific things were missing from the strategy, e.g. Rangitahi, Older Persons, LBGT, Whanau, strategies for dealing with impulsivity and isolation etc.
LookUp is part of the ADHB Child and Youth mental health strategy and uses a collaborative and young people led approach to design an event that brings together schools, people and organisations doing inspiring work in the youth wellbeing space.
LookUp 2017 was themed around ‘Wellbeing and Relationships’ and aimed to explore relationships by connecting young people and health professionals through a series of conversations, and by building resilience through relevant workshop content to assist young people in knowing how to navigate life experiences.
Over the last two years LookUp has grown and evolved! LookUp 2016 saw over 100 young people from 14 schools explore wellbeing around alcohol and other drugs, learning alongside 50 health professionals. Consequently, we are building on LookUp 2016 and the lessons learnt.
LookUp’s intention remains threefold:
- To engage a diverse group of 100 or more young people in activities that would foster reflection of the relationships and support networks in their lives, and equip them with tools and resources, in a youth-development and strengths-focused manner – leading to positive health outcomes.
- To engage 50 or more professionals to learn alongside young people, be positively influenced by a youth-leadership approach, to gain a deeper understanding of what is important to young people around their thinking of relationships and to be exposed to new tools and resources – leading to an increase in youth participation in the sector and youth-friendly approaches.
- To capture young people’s experiences and common themes on the day – leading to systemic advocacy and services that better reflect their needs.
Check out the LookUp website here – www.lookup.org.nz
It Matters is an apolitical campaign launched during 2017 (an election year) with the aim of gathering support from people and organisations who believe that mental health matters to them. All political parties sign up to the campaign as well and by doing so echo the people and state that mental health matters to them too.
Check out the campaign and pledge your support for mental health being a priority area for government regardless of political party here.
What is Whāriki Hauora?
Whāriki Hauora is a partnership between experts in wellbeing and people who work in the performing arts. Administered independently by Changing Minds and a volunteer steering group. We are committed to opening honest conversations about improving wellbeing within the performing arts industry, preventing suicide, and promoting initiatives that raise awareness of issues that people face.
What does it offer?
Whāriki Hauora has a public Facebook page where you can be connected with others in the industry to listen, offer or seek support without judgement.
We have also teamed up with Mind and Body to offer confidential, subsidised professional mental health peer-support sessions for people working within the performing arts sector. This could be used for people who are struggling or could just do with a bit of extra support right now.
How do i access the confidential support service?
Whāriki Hauora Support Sessions are anonymous and self-referring. If you would like to make an appointment to talk to someone, please contact Mind and Body on (09) 630 5909 ext. 821 (Auckland) or (03) 377 1818 ext. 851 (Christchurch) and mention that you would like to access the Whāriki Hauora/Wellbeing in Performance fund for Peer Support Sessions.
How it works:
You will need to pay a small amount towards your session ($25). You will also need to demonstrate that you are an active member of the performance industry (performer, crew, other) by bringing support documentation to your first session. The Whāriki Hauora fund will pay for the rest. If you require more than 6 sessions, your peer support worker will apply on your behalf for a further 2 sessions while they help you to get a referral to your choice of fully funded Mental Health or Addiction service.