The Global Anti-Stigma Alliance
(GASA) was founded in 2012 and currently includes 15 member countries (the core group
being Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, New Zealand, Scotland and the USA).
The Alliance shares best-practice learnings, methodologies, materials and evidence to
achieve better outcomes for those facing stigma and discrimination related to mental
We sat down with Laurianne Reinsborough, General Operations Manager at the Health
Promotion Agency (HPA), who shared her learnings from the latest GASA conference held in
Q: How long have you been part of the Global Anti-Stigma Alliance?
HPA, as stewards of the Like Minds, Like Mine programme, have been attending
the Alliance meetings for the past four years.
Q: What do you find to be the main benefits of being a member of the
A: The benefits of attending the Alliance meetings are to
share learnings from around the world. This helps support the Like Minds, Like
Mine programme to continue to achieve its outcome of a socially-inclusive New
Zealand that is free of stigma and discrimination towards people with mental distress.
For example, at the meeting I attended in November, a group of organisations were going
to get together to have “one voice” to improve the way media reports about people with
Q: What are some examples of great campaigns you saw at the recent Alliance
meeting? How did they help to reduce stigma and discrimination around mental
A: One great example (in my view) was developed by the
Government of the Balearic Islands. The “Cards Against Stigma” campaign was recently
launched and was developed to combat the social stigma suffered by people with mental
The campaign has the testimony of seven people with lived experience who were asked what
words they wanted to hear about them when their diagnosis was communicated to them.
View the campaign here.
Q: Tell us about the Sane Australia report card.
A: I was really
excited to hear about the National Stigma Report Card that Sane, Australia, will be
launching next year.
The report card will seek to understand how Australians living with complex mental
distress experience stigma and discrimination. This knowledge will drive positive change
across a range of areas including housing, education, employment and health services.
Dr Michelle Blanchard, Sane Deputy Chief Executive, will be leading this work. HPA will
be contacting her in the New Year to find out more about the proposed methodology and
Learn more about the National Stigma Report Card.
Q: Tell us about the opportunities for NZ around Time to Change UK and Ford, and
how this could work in NZ?
A: In April 2018, Ford UK launched a new
campaign in partnership with Time to Change UK to support mental health. In a Ford survey of
over 2,000 people, 53 percent said they like to have conversations in their car or
vehicle, with 56 percent of respondents saying they have had important emotional
conversations in a car.
The campaign is called “Don’t Let Mental Health be the Elephant in the Room”, and targets
Both organisations have benefited from this partnership. It enabled Time to Change UK to
have a television commercial supporting the programme and Ford has received advice on
mental health in their workplace. Ford is also the first car manufacturing company to
sign the Time to Change England employee pledge.
I believe that partnerships are the key to delivering successful programmes. Some New
Zealand NGOs already have smart partnerships with commercial organisations, but I’m sure
there are more opportunities to be had.
Q: If you could share one key learning from the conference this year, what would
A: The Like Minds, Like Mine programme and its partners
are doing a great job.
Internationally, they had already heard of the World of Difference programme, which is one of the Like
Minds, Like Mine education projects being led by Otago University, and New
Zealand is still regarded as one of the leading countries in this space.
Read more about the Global Anti-Stigma Alliance.