Rākau Roroa

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Have you personally experienced mental illness or distress, and want to reduce discrimination around those experiences in your community?

Rākau Roroa is New Zealand’s first-ever mental health champions training programme.

The programme trains and supports people to use their personal lived experience of mental distress to create change in their communities, reducing discrimination and normalising the experience of mental distress.

Rākau Roroa was co-designed with hundreds of people across New Zealand. Using surveys, hui and experts, its co-design ensured an equitable and evidence-based programme meaningful to diverse communities.

Rākau Roroa has been successfully led and delivered to people working in over 100 different contexts across New Zealand — from the Police and Defence Force, to corporate organisations and small businesses.

It also provides ongoing mentoring and support for people who have completed training.

Rākau Roroa equips participants with evidence, research and skills they need to change attitudes and behaviours in their local communities. Participants are supported to utilise their existing passions, interests and networks to make a sustainable impact.

Rākau Roroa’s training explores:

  • A community development mentorship model based on the cultural concepts of Māori “Tuakana/Teina” and Samoan vā fealoa’i
  • Evidence-based models of wellbeing such as Te Whare Tapa Whā, Fono Fale, Te Pae Māhutonga, Flourishing, CHIME and the Five Ways to Wellbeing
  • Human rights, discrimination and the self-stigma that is commonly associated with the experience of long-term stress and being marginalised
  • Health promotion in the context of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Language and communication, and how we communicate with each other, our whānau and communities about what it is we are experiencing and how we can be supported.

If you are interested in being part of future Rākau Roroa programmes, please email rakauroroa@changingminds.org.nz