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How Like Minds makes the difference

Media Release
24 March 2010

How Like Minds makes the difference

Over one hundred people dedicated to reducing stigma and discrimination faced by those experiencing mental illness met together today at Auckland’s Waipuna Lodge for a two-day seminar. Despite vastly improved attitudes toward mental illness in New Zealand, there are still a number of challenges ahead in completely eliminating stigma and discrimination, say mental health advocates.

The annual event brings together service providers from all over New Zealand who work under the Like Minds, Like Mine programme. The Ministry of Health-funded programme was established thirteen years ago and challenges discriminatory attitudes and behaviours by individuals, organisations, and communities.

This year the Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman will be in attendance on the Thursday. The seminar was opened today by Darryl Bishop, the Ministry of Health’s Like Minds programme leader and Judi Clements, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation and will feature various keynote speakers including Dr Coleman, Lynne Pere, Vito Nonumalo and Robyn Hunt.

The seminar also includes a number of parallel sessions discussing topics as varied as cultural attitudes and barriers to seeking help, working with rural communities, young peoples’ views on mental illness, and using radio and other media to spread the Like Minds message.

“The Like Minds providers are out in their communities making a real difference” says Judi Clements, “this seminar gives them a chance to learn, share and grow together and then to take that knowledge back home with them to continue raising awareness around the discrimination facing those with experience of mental health problems.”

The seminar is an exciting opportunity for ideas to be shared and is an integral part in creating a nation that values and includes all people with experience of mental illness.

ENDS

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