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About Us

For Better Mental Health / Te pae tawhiti o te Hinengaro

Leading social change by inspiring positive action

Changing Minds is a national not-for-profit organisation operated entirely by those with personal experience of recovery from mental health and/or addiction issues, we work in the broad area of wellbeing services, advocacy, human rights, and health policy.

  • We collect, articulate, and activate the strategic voice of lived experience.
  • We provide information, advice, education, and advocacy on a range of health and social issues that impact on mental health for all people.
  • Changing Minds leads collaborative social change projects aimed at reducing mental health discrimination, promoting social inclusion and improving mental health and wellbeing for communities, people and whanau.
  • Changing Minds is training and growing a network of leaders to use their personal lived experience of mental distress and recovery to inspire others and create change in their communities.

Board of Trustees

mental health

Kiri Hannifin

Julia Hunter

Jess Thorne

Anaru Ah Kew

Staff

mental health
Taimi Allan

CEO, Chief Experience Officer

Taimi has been involved in the mental health sector for nearly a decade, managing a variety of roles and significant projects encompassing consumer advice, communications, media and marketing, digital initiatives, social entrepreneurship, business development, mental health promotion and education and training.

Over the years, she has worked on innovative projects with specialist sectors to increase their mental health literacy, including such diverse groups as tertiary training organisations, corporate business, media and entertainment industries, schools, youth and older persons, addictions and the Police.

Taimi represents the consumer voice in various strategic governance positions relating to sector and service improvement, policy and suicide prevention. Featured as a global thought-leader in the March 2018 edition of M2 Woman Magazine, Taimi’s history in film, theatre and television, means she often uses the arts as a safe vehicle to help audiences understand and see value in challenging experiences. Her creative work includes the world’s first International Mental Health Arts Festival ‘The Big reTHiNK’ as featured in ‘MiNDFOOD’ Magazine and collaborating on “Mockingbird” and the annual “Atawhai” festival.

Kieran Moorhead

Communications – kieran@changingminds.org.nz

‘Driver of Influence’

Kieran leads the Communications at Changing Minds, where the kaupapa is to advocate for mental health system change and to champion the voices of people who have used mental health and addiction services in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Kieran works on collaborative projects in the area of identity and wellbeing for young people, and in particular those who identify as LGBTQ+/rainbow.

Kieran is interested in issues relating to health, human rights, and privacy which provides a good foundation for advocacy and the promotion of tino rangatiratanga and self-determination.

Ksenia Kala

Administration, Project Coordination – admin@changingminds.org.nz

‘Designer of First Impressions’

Ksenia was born and raised in Moscow, Russia and moved to New Zealand in 2013 to study. The change of place has dramatically affected her life in the best possible ways, shifted mentality, and helped to gain a fresh perspective on life and living. Since moving to New Zealand Ksenia managed to receive honours in a bachelor degree in Business from AUT, and to get involved in various industries including accounting and finance, administration for academia, virtual and augmented reality startups and even real estate. Now she is happily settled in Changing Minds where she is helping the team to stay organised. She loves playing with and testing different web technologies that might help to simplify a workflow or open new ways of engaging with consumers. Ksenia has a knack for visual representation and time management and therefore loves doing graphic design, organising and tidying spaces, and helping other people stay on top of their game. In her spare time, she is a fitness and healthy life style enthusiast, a runner and a yogi, vegetarian cook, and currently learning a new language – Hindi.

Tamara Waugh

Health Promotion, Business Development – tamara@changingminds.org.nz

‘Driver of Potential’

Tamara’s enthusiasm for positive change and use of practical tools that consciously create engagement, productivity and empowerment on a daily basis, has created a significant difference in reaching and impacting on the lives of thousands of people through the Facebook page ‘The Happiness Experiment’. Progressing to facilitating workshops in schools, corporate organisations and learning institutes around emotion regulation, resilience and the power of gratitude. This is the ground-work for ‘Brainy Box’, a social enterprise she is currently in the development stage of building to engage and support youth to navigate their way to greater social and emotional resilience.

Dedicated to inspiring people into extraordinary positive action– starting with herself. Tamara battled with mental illness from an early age and has constantly sought to find a meaningful, measurable and sustainable improvement to her life and the lives of those around her.

Borni Te Rongopai Tukiwaho

Cultural Advisor, Project Management – borni@changingminds.org.nz

‘The People Whisperer’

(Te Arawa/Tuhoe/ Tuwharetoa) is the Kaitohutohu Ahurea (Cultural Advisor) for Changing Minds, and Performing Arts & Community Broker for Taurima Vibes. He is also an independent producer, director, lecturer, facilitator, actor and singer.

A graduate from South Seas Film and Television School and has a BA from UNITECs School of Performing and Screen Arts. Borni is a core whānau member and producer for Te Pou Theatre and is an active Equity NZ board member. He began his creative career in music before turning to film and theatre producing, acting and directing.

Borni is a suicide prevention and wellbeing advocate dedicated to help create open conversation and sustainable support networks. He has a strong focus on community empowerment through storytelling. As a broker he has created strong relationships with The Auckland City Mission, being co-creator of The Hobson Street Theatre Company a theatre initiative working with those living rough and using mission services.

He has built support and created strong relationships throughout the Well-being and Mindfulness landscapes as well with NZ’s 3 strongest HIV awareness foundations to create awareness through performance. In the past 5 years he has been dedicated to find understanding around what well-being and mindfulness in the performing arts industry looks like, how to create clear unification within the ranks, and to discover tangible pathways for open conversation and destigmatising negative perceptions.

Strategic Objectives

Strategic objectives

Information:

Promote relevant, timely and easily accessible information to those who are impacted, including individuals and families, workplaces and industries.

Reach:

Advocate for those with lived experience by influencing decision-makers at a policy and programme (delivery) level (not just in mental health).

Gather:

Gather, collect and collate personal stories, experiences, systemic information, new research/evidence and societal perspectives.

Promote:

Use innovative events and projects to promote positive stories, support, inform, educate or change conversations around mental health, well-being and addictions.

Growth:

Grow our funding, human resources, and geographic influence.

Values

  • Changing Minds is an evidence based, progressive, professional and holistic organisation.
  • We respect people’s differences of culture, age, gender, sexual orientation, personal values and spiritual beliefs.
  • We promote self-determination through supporting self-confidence, empowerment and recovery and promote full participation in society.
  • We recognise and act on inequitable health outcomes for Māori, Pacific and migrant communities.
  • We advocate from a human rights approach.
  • We work from the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
  • We stand up against discrimination and social exclusion.
  • We advocate for Government to act on social determinants of mental health and addictions (good housing, income and employment, education and health) at regional and national levels.
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