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Forty-seven per cent of New Zealanders will experience mental illness or distress in their lifetime

Most people will recover. Despite this, they are often discriminated against and excluded from everyday activities. This is one of the biggest barriers to recovery.

Like Minds, Like Mine is a public awareness programme to increase social inclusion and end discrimination towards people with experience of mental illness or distress. We do this through public awareness campaigns, community projects and research.

Audience

Our target audience is people who have the potential to exclude, particularly in workplace and community settings.

Who benefits

The groups who will benefit most from our work are those who are discriminated against the most:

• people with severe mental illness

• Māori

• Pacific peoples

• young people under the age of 25.

Since the programme began in 1997, discrimination toward those with experience of mental illness and distress has decreased. New Zealanders are more likely to accept someone with experience of mental illness or distress as a workmate, and to think they are able to contribute to society.

Structure

The Like Minds, Like Mine programme is funded by the New Zealand Government. The Health Promotion Agency is the lead operational agency for the programme, with strategic responsibility held by the Ministry of Health.

National coordination and programme communications for the programme is led by the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand (MHF). The MHF has a long involvement in the programme, providing support for the national activities for the past decade. It has also held contracts to deliver regional activities, and currently holds three Community Partnership Fund contracts.

Guiding principles

The Like Minds, Like Mine programme is underpinned by the social model of disability and the power of contact. It takes a human rights approach to disabilities.

Social model of disability: describes disability as a process that happens when one group of people creates barriers by designing a world only for their way of being.

Human rights approach: values the dignity of all people and asserts their right to be free of discrimination.

Power of contact: encourages equal contact between members of excluded groups and those that exclude. This approach has been shown to promote attitude change.

 

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