growing mental health leaders
What is Rākau Roroa?
Rākau Roroa is growing mental health leaders for the future!
Rākau Roroa will train and support a growing network of people who want to use their personal lived experience of mental distress and recovery to inspire others.
By the end of the training Rākau Roroa will enable people to tell their own story and to champion positive mental health messages in their communities.
Why get involved in Rākau Roroa?
If you are looking for an opportunity to create a meaningful difference for other people who are going through difficult times then this is for you!
This is a unique opportunity to learn and engage with other people who also want to make a difference. You will be supported through the whole Rākau Roroa process by mentors who have been selected based on their experiences and knowledge. And best of all it is completely free as the Rākau Roroa initiative is run by Changing Minds and funded through the Like Minds, Like Mine programme.
What do I need to apply for Rākau Roroa?
You are someone with lived experience of mental distress and recovery, who is confident that with the right training and support, you will be able to positively work with your community to reduce discrimination to benefit other people with their own experiences of mental distress.
You have supports in place emotionally and professionally to be open about your experiences and have some ideas of how you would like to use the knowledge and skills you gain from being a part of Rākau Roroa.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why the name Rākau Roroa?
In discussions with Changing Minds Kaumātua (Ngāti Whātua) and our Māori partners, the name Rākau Roroa emerged which roughly translates as Tall Trees.
This has connotations of the strength, resilience and leadership of people with lived experience rising from the roots to the branches of our whenua connecting and supporting one another to grow.
Is this a Like Minds, Like Mine initiative or a National Depression Initiative?
It supports both programmes.
Rākau Roroa is being created to support the aims and messaging of both the Like Minds, Like Mine and National Depression Initiative (NDI) programmes. This initiative supports the aims of both programmes – ending stigma and discrimination and encouraging conversations to increase support and help-seeking. Leaders will be able to identify with one or both programmes and will be supported to use their experiential wisdom to counter discrimination and encourage help-seeking as part of the activities they engage in.
Will this initiative be a repeat of past work like the “Speakers Bureau”?
New Zealand’s Lived Experience movement has a rich and vibrant history of initiatives such as the “Speakers Bureau”, “Speak Your Mind” and “First Voices”.
We are learning from the magic of the past – from the strengths as well as the weaknesses. The “Speakers Bureau” is just one of the incarnations we are looking at for what worked well and where we can improve.
The Rākau Roroa initiative, however, is much broader than public-speaking. Providing more opportunities for people from all walks of life and industries who have a lived experience to use their wisdom and the wisdom of others to address discrimination and encourage helping-seeking in their communities, locally, culturally or demographically.
The initiative will identify people with existing skills, connections and project ideas and provide them with the right knowledge, messages and support to counter discrimination and encourage help-seeking within their field of interest.
How will Rākau Roroa maintain a ‘grassroots’ focus and ensure grassroots voices are key drivers?
The Rākau Roroa initiative aims to include people with lived experience of mental distress from many walks of life, not just those already working in peer roles.
Of key importance will be the recruitment, support and training processes that participants are involved in as they become part of the Rākau Roroa whānau.
To make this as ‘grassroots’ focused as possible, Changing Minds have committed to a co-design process to set up these three fundamental processes.
What is Co-design?
Co-design reflects a fundamental change in traditional service design, and is a new approach to programme design.
Rather than the traditional model of the funder designing the programme in isolation from the communities in which it will be delivered, co-design ensures that fundamental processes are designed by those at grassroots level.
Changing Minds are committed to ensuring the co-design philosophy is maintained for design, development and improvement throughout the duration of the initiative.
Does the Rākau Roroa initiative include addictions?
People with addictions are not specifically a priority area for the Like Minds, Like Mine and National Depression Initiative programmes.
In saying that, we are aware that mental health and addictions often do not sit as separate experiences and the programme will be inclusive.
There will be opportunities over the duration of the project to provide sector information which identifies gaps and opportunities for the future.