Tēna koutou katoa. Rotorua has been my home for the last 20 years, where my husband, who has Te Arawa and Mataatua whakapapa, was born and raised. We moved here to raise our children, who are now adults, in the home of their ancestors. I am originally from Wellington, but my roots are on the other side of the world, being European and British. Both of my parents moved to Aotearoa New Zealand in the 1950s.
As a clinical psychologist, over the last 30 years, I have worked in Corrections, mental health and specialist maternal/perinatal mental health services in various locations. In 2004 I set up a community-based mental health service for new parents which I ran for 15 years, employing counsellors and support workers, offering individual and group therapy, peer support, and practical home-based care options. I have provided a wide range of training to health and community agencies and been involved in community and clinical forums advocating for improved mental health services with a focus on the early years of life. More recently, I have been working at an advisory level, while continuing to raise awareness of perinatal mental health via social media. I also have a small private practice with a focus on improving emotional wellbeing and adjustment to life stressors.
My enduring passion and commitment for mental health comes from professional, whānau and personal experience. I strongly believe that the foundations for wellbeing of individuals, families, community and society lie with the provision of resources and supports that are easily accessible and effective for everyone, whoever and wherever they are. I am passionate about sharing information and awareness of the importance of mental health and ways to enhance it widely within the community and feel privileged to be a part of the Blueprint for Learning team as a result.