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Innovative approach to youth mental health comes to Aotearoa

Fourteen newly certified facilitators will be offering a fresh approach to talking about mental health when they complete the IHEART training in February 2020.

Trainers from the London-based charity, IHEART (Innate Health Education and Resilience Training), will be travelling to Wellington, New Zealand to certify more facilitators in their highly-regarded resilience programme for young people aged 10-18. The IHEART for Schools Programme goes to the source of the misunderstanding that prevents people from recognising their in-built wellbeing. Knowing that we are all innately mentally well produces transformative and sustainable results. IHEART is offering the missing piece in the mental health and wellbeing puzzle that society wishes to solve.

IHEART certification training has never before been offered in Asia-Pacific and three participants on the course are travelling from Australia to seize the opportunity. Once certified, the group will join forces with the other 300 IHEART facilitators who are working with young people in Europe, the United States, South Africa and the Middle East.

John Scott and Zia Brooks from IHEART UK are delivering the week-long training, which will conclude the certification participants have been working towards since September 2019.

“We are delighted at the response from trainees in New Zealand and Australia who are passionate about changing the script for how we talk about mental health with young people. It is exciting to see the IHEART programme take root in a new part of the world and we are looking forward to arriving soon to deliver the training.” Said Ms Brooks, Head of Schools for IHEART.

Training is being held in Wellington at Te Auaha, NZ Institute of Creativity, from Monday 17 February for one week. The trainees are thrilled to have the opportunity to be at a state-of-the-art venue and are very grateful to Te Auaha for making it available to them. Participants and the trainers will open their first day with a whakatau on site, to welcome visitors to New Zealand and honour tangata whenua.

The idea of a training course based in New Zealand is the brainchild of Therese Boyle, currently the only qualified facilitator of IHEART in Aotearoa. Therese travelled to London in May 2019 to complete the IHEART training course and initiated conversations with the UK charity about getting more facilitators trained and ready to share the message.

“After completing the training, I have taken any opportunity to speak about IHEART and offered it to local schools for free, as I wanted to see for myself that the programme was effective. I am delighted that IHEART UK committed to coming out here to run the training. To know that this year we are rapidly increasing the number of certified facilitators feels very exciting for the mental health of our young people and I look forward to having colleagues to work with!” said Therese.

The IHEART programme was developed as a direct response to the growing mental health crisis in young people in developed countries. IHEART – Innate Health Education and Resilience Training – is a UK non-profit organisation dedicated to helping all people realise their potential through learning about the innate resilience and mental health that all human beings possess.

IHEART’s approach focuses on the source of the problem – and shares an understanding of mental health not mental ill-health through the IHEART for Schools Programme. The programme is literally changing the lives of young people. The approach educates young people in a way they have never seen before. It disrupts many of the commonly held ideas about where our wellbeing resides and is revolutionising the hot topic of mental health.

In less than two years IHEART facilitators have delivered the programme to over 4000 young people, via 82 schools. Within three years, IHEART aims to reach 50,000 young people.

Qualified facilitators are delivering the IHEART programme around the world in England, Scotland, Ireland, Sweden, New Zealand, Greece, Belgium, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, the United States, Canada, Israel, South Africa and Dubai.


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