Our Media Grants fellows

pexels photo 1037766

Do you want to end social judgement and whakamā/shame towards people with lived experience of mental distress or illness?

Our fellows below were awarded a Media Grant to undertake creative and media-based mahi that did just that – illuminated what it’s really like to live with distress and highlighted ways we can support each other during our toughest times.


Harriet Bremner

for Use Your Voice, a children’s book on a farm dog’s journey through depression. The book follows Jess, a black huntaway who loses her voice and faces social exclusion in her rural community. Poppy, a dachshund on the farm, helps her through her recovery.


Juliette Sivertsen

for Just Listen, a seven-part New Zealand Herald podcast series on how to support someone with serious and ongoing mental distress. Each episode explores how friends and whānau members have helped their loved ones get through tough times.

Adam Dudding

for Out of My Mind, a seven-part podcast series which shares people’s stories of what it’s like to live with mental distress. The series, which was hosted on stuff.co.nz, won a 2020 Voyager Award for joint Best Episodic/Recurrent Podcast.

Michelle Mae Cameron

for Fight or Flight, a six-chapter, animated documentary series which confronts the myths surrounding anxiety and depression. Each chapter addresses these myths from the perspectives of young New Zealanders.

Bex Lipp and Craig Phillips

for Aroha’s Way, a children’s book which normalises the four key symptoms of anxiety – nervousness, fear, apprehension and worrying thoughts. The book follows Aroha’s own experiences and shows parents and teachers how to help young people in distress in a soothing and non-judgmental way.

John Boynton

for Māori experiences of NZ’s mental health services, an exposé around Māori experiences with distress. Published on The Hui, the article and video explore Te Ao Māori views on what experiencing psychosis, seclusion and negating schizophrenia diagnoses can mean and how Māori can recover in a way that works for them.


Hamish Oakley-Browne

for Open Books, an art exhibition and short film questioning what recovery means to different people.

Tasha Impey for Not a blanket approach, a video series featuring six Kiwis sharing stories of their trials and triumphs with mental distress. Shared on TVNZ’s social media channel RE:, the series demonstrates why there’s not a ‘blanket approach’ to living through the tough stuff.
Jehan Casinader

for The Inside Word, a six-part panel show for TVNZ Duke. Each week, Jehan interviewed three guests about topics such as cyber-bullying or body image, leading to raw, honest and compelling stories about their mental distress experiences.

Action Education

for Busting The Myths, a series of short Spoken Word poetry videos addressing the impact of mental distress and intergenerational trauma on young people in Aotearoa.

Indira Stewart for Together Alone, a multimedia project for Radio NZ on why so many Pasifika people live with psychological distress – and why so few seek help.


REcollective Theatre Company

for deVine, a stage play exploring one whānau’s three-generation-long tensions and experiences with mental distress. The play cast New Zealand actresses Romy Hooper, Cian Elyse White and Esmee Myers to perform lead roles, and was performed in Whāngārei, Kaitaia and Kerikeri.

Tess McClure for Mad Pride, a journalistic piece exploring the fight to reclaim autonomy and challenge discrimination within mental health services. The piece was published in Vice and won the MHS’ Mental Health Journalism award.
Katie Kenny and Laura Walters

for Through the Maze, a stuff.co.nz feature series looking at the 150-year evolution of New Zealand's mental health system from big institutions, where people were kept "out of sight, out of mind", to today's community care model with an increasing focus on resilience and mental wellness.

Mike Wesley-Smith for Perpetrators or Patients, a three-part series for TV3’s The Nation investigating experiences of mental distress in New Zealand’s criminal justice system.


Rachel Ross 

for Have you tried, maybe, not worrying, a short film which encourages openness and discussion around the experience of anxiety. The film aims to reduce prejudice and discredits misconceptions that you can ‘will’ anxiety away or ‘conquer’ it by eating, sleeping and exercising.

Rob Mokaraka (writer and actor) for Shot Bro: Confessions of a depressed bullet, a one-man show about his highly-publicised police encounter outside his home in 2009. Described as a “serious black comedy about a real fight with depression”, its inaugural season ran over four nights in Whāngārei and has since debuted in Wellington’s Kia Mau Festival and Wainuimata by special request.
Yvonne O’Hara

for Down on the Farm: Rural families and mental health in the South, a four-page rural resource delivered to 38,500 rural families. 

Kim Vinnell for Mental illness in the workplace and Protecting our mental health at work, a project which aired on TV3's Story and featured blogs from musician Ben Read, mindfulness trainer Stephen Archer and psychotherapist Kyle MacDonald. 


See our journalism grant recipients and projects between 2010-2014 here.

Between 2007 and 2010, the following recipients were awarded a Media Grant:
- 2010 Dylan Keys, Aaron Smale, Georgie Tutt, Helena Chan, Rob Mokaraka and Patricia Deavoll
- 2009 Michelanne Foster, Gareth Watkins, Yvonne O’Hara, Sam RB, Stephen McCurdy and Graham Bishop
- 2008 Karlo Mila, Jenn Shelton, Kristian Lomath, Amanda Cropp and The Silk Tent Company
- 2007 Jessica La Bas, Jo Randerson, Halina Ogonowksa-Coates and Debbie Hager.

Read more about some of these recipients’ creative and journalistic projects.

Good reads

67403901 2590755830956889 3027398434064695296 n

Mental Health Media Grants

Bex and Craig's project: Aroha's Way

Aroha’s Way is a beautifully-illustrated children’s book about how to manage... Read more


Mental Health Media Grants

Jehan's project: The Inside Word

The Inside Word is a six-part panel show produced for TVNZ Duke.... Read more