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Millennials to redefine mental health crisis

6 November 2018

Millennials from across the Waikato will join forces with multiple organisations to tackle the mental health crisis.

Seed Waikato’s last event for 2018 is the disruptive Dreamshop: Tautuhi Ano (to redefine), which is focused on redefining the reality young people face in Aotearoa.

“New Zealand has the worst youth suicide rate in the developed world, and every 63 hours, a young person takes their life,” said Seed Waikato co-founder and chair Gemma Major.

“Our suicide rate is almost five times as high as the United Kingdom, and with heaps of young people in our city and region, we are deeply affected by this crisis.”

Approximately 16 per cent of the Waikato’s population and 23 per cent of Hamilton’s is aged between 18 and 30.

Seed Waikato is a charity run by young people, for young people. It aims to activate the potential of young people to help create a more vibrant Waikato.

In partnership with Wintec’s Design Factory, attendees will be taught design-thinking, learning how to turn ideas into reality to create meaningful change.

“There is hope. With courage, collaboration, innovation and creativity, we can take action. And that's why we are hosting this event. To come together and improve our own mental health, and create new ideas to make positive change,” Gemma said.

“This event is all about empowering our community to take action on an issue we are affected by. It’s community-led development meets social innovation lab, and by partnering with so many organisations, our hope is to see groups come together that normally wouldn’t to tackle this challenge together.”

Margi Moore and Debbie Preston from Wintec's Design Factory said Dreamshop: Tautuhi Ano is a unique opportunity to bring together passionate people with different perspectives to create solutions and new possibilities for mental wellbeing.

“Through design thinking and radical collaboration, it will empower us all to create change," they said.

Dreamshop will see Seed Waikato partner with a diverse range of organisations including The Creators, Hamilton Young Professionals - HYP, Graeme Dingle Foundation Waikato, the Hamilton branch of National Council of Women of New Zealand, Te Hūmeka Waikato Māori Business Network Inc., Waikato Pacific Business Network, WaQuY - Waikato Queer Youth, Your Way Wellbeing, Young Workers Resource Centre, YWCA of Hamilton, and Zeal.

“YWCA Hamilton is supporting Dreamshop: Tautuhi Ano as we think it’s important that our young people develop the future that they want to have because they are the ones who will be living it,” said programmes coordinator Zeta Mohn.

Graeme Dingle Foundation general manager Michelle Daly said Dreamshop aligns with the kaupapa of the Foundation. “We want every young person to know: what you have inside is greater than any obstacle.”

The Creators, a local creative social enterprise, is backing the event because people and communities harnessing their creative potential is the remedy the world needs, said co-founder Aaron Boyens.

The event is supported by DV Bryant Trust, Hamilton City Council, Momentum Waikato Community Foundation, TalkingTech Foundation, Tompkins Wake, and Trust Waikato.

“We are inspired to see the hard work that Seed Waikato puts into empowering youth in our communities,” Trust Waikato chief executive Dennis Turton said.

“We look forward to this innovative event creating positive and wide-reaching impact.”

Hamilton City Council community development manager Andy Mannering said: “We are a young city with lots of amazing young people who have the ability to change some of our negative stats. When passionate and engaged people gather to collectively think about solutions there is great hope. We agree that with courage, innovation and creativity, skills that we both individually and collectively embody, we can take action and make change.”

Len Reynolds Trust has provided $3000 for a cash prize and Social Impact Waikato is providing mentoring post-event – both for the winning idea to grow legs.

Earlier this year, Seed Waikato heard at their mental health and addiction korero that young people wanted access to opportunities to improve their wellbeing, so Untapped will also run a mindset workshop to empower young people to unleash their true potential.

“As our nation faces a mental health crisis, we need the change makers, innovators and leaders of tomorrow empowered and equipped to deal with the road ahead,” Untapped founder Briony McKenzie said.

“Mindset coaching helps remove personal barriers and limitations leaving them with the ability to redefine what’s possible!”
Dreamshop will be held at The Atrium at Wintec on Saturday, November 10 from 10am-3pm. Tickets cost $10. Parts of the event will also be live streamed on Seed Waikato’s Facebook page. More information or to purchase tickets see


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