Workshop facilitators

Our people bring diverse skills, cultures and life experiences.

  • Amy

    Amy Alexander

    Facilitator - Addiction 101

    I am Amy Alexander – mother, daughter, sister and aunt.

    Along with 39 years’ experience with addiction and recovery, I am also a dapaanz registered addiction practitioner and an accredited supervisor.

    I’m motivated to contribute to the destigmatisation of addiction/recovery and to support family members impacted by both. 

     

  • Andrew

    Andrew Gifford

    Facilitator - Addiction 101 

    Andrew Gifford is one of our workshop facilitators.

  • Andy Hearn

    Facilitator - MH101®

    Hi, I’m Andy and I live in Christchurch.

    I’ve always worked in health and education – most recently developing and leading staff wellbeing programmes at the Canterbury DHB (immediately after the earthquakes), Emerge Aotearoa, and Ara Institute of Canterbury (Canterbury Polytech).

    I have supported many colleagues through periods of mental distress and have a long history of managing my own depression. As a result, I’m really passionate about reducing the stigma surrounding mental health.

    Working as a MH101® facilitator is the perfect opportunity for me to connect with others, help raise the level of health literacy in NZ, promote a stronger focus on mental wellbeing, and support people experiencing mental distress.

    I look after my own wellbeing by searching out opportunities to learn and spending time at the beach…especially surfing!

    I look forward to meeting you at a MH101® workshop.

  • Aroha

    Aroha Crosbie

    Facilitator - Addiction 101

    Kia ora, I’m Aroha.

    Adored partner, proud mother, treasured daughter, fun nana, super sister, loving aunty, best cat and dog companion ever!

    When I’m not at home indulging in reality TV, gardening, walking on the beach and being artistically creative I can be found working with an exceptionally gifted group of people as a part of the Addiction 101 facilitator team!

    I have been working in the addiction and mental health sector in residential and community outreach settings for more than 10 years. It is an honour to work in a culture that collectively invests in the wellbeing of communities in Aotearoa. Together we all can and do make a difference.

    I look forward to seeing you at one of our workshops soon!

  • Brody

    Brody Runga

    Facilitator - MH101®, Addiction 101 and Corrections Health Service Nurses Primary Mental Health and Addiction Education Programme

    I have worked in various roles across both mental health and addiction services over the last decade. I now support various organisations acting as an independent consultant, facilitator and trainer.

    A lot of my career has been involved in supporting lived experience initiatives such as DRIVE Consumer Direction, Te Kete Pounamu and Recovery College, working with various stakeholders and groups of people living with mental distress and substance use challenges.

    I am passionate about creativity for wellbeing, and I support Tufuga Arts Trust in Counties Manukau. I am currently studying towards a Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts.

  • Celia King

    Facilitator - MH101®

    Kia ora. I am a counsellor working mainly with Deaf, hearing impaired and disabled people. I am fluent in NZSL and am excited to be able to facilitate workshops for the Deaf community.

    Kindness, caring and compassion are three values that guide my work as I walk alongside people experiencing distress or struggling with addiction.

    I love the wellness model of Te Whare Tapa Whā which considers the whole person, their whānau and their community; to lead a balanced, satisfying life.

    Kire, a Golden Collie, is my Hearing Assistance Dog and is also a Therapy Dog. She sometimes works with me to help people relax and smile again. We both enjoy trips in the car, walks on the beach and lazing in the sun.

  •  

    Dr Chris Taua

    (she/her) Rainbow Flag

    Facilitator - MH101®

    I feel privileged to be part of the team of facilitators delivering MH101 for Blueprint. With a long background in mental health nursing practice and health and social service education, I feel confident and encouraged to share my expertise with you.

    My passion lies in assisting everyday people to gain the skills to recognise and support each other in moments of distress while demystifying the various notions around mental unwellness and other causes of distress.

    My workshop facilitation is informed by understandings of cultural safety and is delivered with appropriate humour. Adaptability to learners’ needs is key to this.

  • Denny McNae

    Facilitator - MH101®

    I was born in Christchurch, and now reside in Hamilton where I live on a small lifestyle block with whanau and an array of pets. 

    As a Registered Nurse with over 20 years’ experience in mental health and addiction services. I am passionate about developing others and sharing my knowledge and skills gained through senior clinical, management and nurse education roles.   I am delighted by the opportunity to co facilitate MH101 workshops to equip people supporting those experiencing mental distress. 

  • Diana

    Diana Rands

    (she/her)

    Facilitator - MH101®

    I’ve been working in the addiction/mental health field since 1985, when I graduated as a social worker. My passion is social justice and working alongside people to support them to reach their full potential. I love what I do!

    I work half my time as an addictions clinician at Auckland’s Community Alcohol and Drug Services and the rest of the time I indulge my love of group facilitation and education. My specialist areas are addiction, mental health, communication, sexual orientation and gender identity, racial and sexual harassment prevention and human rights promotion.

    Participants often comment that although they may be discussing difficult topics, I can make it fun! My strengths include warmth and compassion.

    I’m also chair of the board of trustees for the Inner City Women’s Group (a family violence prevention and education programme), a member of the Auckland Council’s Rainbow Advisory Board and a volunteer for telephone counselling service for Rainbow Communities.

  • Edward Kitchin

    Facilitator - Addiction 101

    My name is Edward Kitchin. I’m an Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) clinician with a passion for working alongside people living with addiction challenges.

    I've been working in the field since 2013, initially working alongside the criminal justice system, supporting those experiencing harms from substance use in Liverpool.

    Since moving to Aotearoa in 2010, I've again been drawn to the justice system, working across the prison network and later with youth populations. More recently I have been involved in programme design and implementation with Odyssey in Auckland.  

    I am excited to be co-facilitating Blueprint for Learning workshops as it provides another opportunity to educate about addiction and explore stigma and discrimination.

  • Erica

    Edith Moore

    Facilitator - Addiction 101

    Kia Orana, I experience joy by supporting people who are struggling to empower themselves. Especially people with lived experience of mental distress or addiction.

    I have an MSc in Health Psychology and have previously lectured at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Medicine in Pacific Health.  I currently work for DRIVE Consumer Direction Counties Manukau and The Recovery College NZ.

    I am a member of Nga Hau e Wha, Mana Pasefika and a founding member of the Drua Pasifika Consumer and Family Lived Experience Group. 

    I am a mother and a grandmother. Gaining my Nana credentials at the ripe old age of thirty-five. In my spare time I love to immerse myself in fantasy novels and hunt for treasures in op shops.  I look forward to meeting you. 

  • Emma Hunter

    Facilitator - MH101® and Addiction 101

    Having grown up in Dunedin as tauiwi, I have a strong connection to my tūrangawaewae of Te Wai Pounamu. I feel the sense of kaitiakitanga for this land in which I grew up. I love to connect with my environment by walking the many paths and treks the beautiful South has to offer with my much-loved dogs Buddy, a rescued Bull Mastiff and Ruby, a slightly greedy Labrador!

    A dedicated student, I currently study in the field of mental health and addiction. I believe in a culturally inclusive recovery framework that encourages individual choice, empowerment and self-management, enabling people to create new perspectives in shaping the way we see the world. I want to challenge barriers to promote inclusion and foster the experience of recovery for all. I am passionate about social justice and equitable outcomes, recognising that people come from different sets of circumstances.

    I also work in an Alcohol and Other Drug residential based programme here in Ōtepoti and as a facilitator of a mental health programme.

    I am delighted to be part of the Blueprint for Learning facilitator team, surrounded by such special tāngata who each bring their unique wisdom and knowledge to this important mahi. I believe knowledge is empowerment and one of the most powerful and inspiring motivators for those seeking wellness is to walk the path of those who have recovered. 

  • Erica

    Erica Hodgson

    Facilitator - MH101®

    I have over 15 years’ experience in the field of mental health and wellbeing – in clinical work as an occupational therapist and in service development roles focusing on project management and quality improvement. I am passionate about improving the wellbeing of our communities and I now focus on governance work in health regulation and the mental health NGO sector.

    MH101 gives me the opportunity to share information that I know is evidence-based and really works, to reduce distress and support people when they first need it.

    I love hearing people's stories and their confidence at the end of the day that they too can make a difference.

  • Georgina Guild

    Facilitator - MH101®

    Kia ora koutou. I was born and raised in Melbourne with English and New Zealand heritage. I began working in the area of youth and family mental health in Tāmaki Makaurau in 2005 and have been privileged to hear stories of resilience and strength in this space in London and now Ōtautahi. Gaining this experience has also supported me in my own journey of wellbeing, as well as friends and whānau.

    I am proud to be involved in facilitating MH101® to support people to build their confidence and the skills they already have in the overall area of wellbeing.

    When not working, I enjoy spending time with my partner and our beloved terrier, as well as any activity involving the sea, and fostering bull breed dogs who are waiting for their forever home.

  • Graham Holman

    Facilitator - MH101®

    I have over 20 years’ experience as a mental health nurse in a variety of clinical and leadership roles working across the age spectrum. I have a strong interest in education and professional supervision. There is no health without mental health, so it is important for people to be able to access early, timely, and appropriate support in their own communities.

  • Grant

    Grant Cooper

    Facilitator - MH101®

    I was born in Wellington and spent most of my life in Christchurch. I currently live in Dunedin with my wife and teenage son.

    I have worked in the field of mental health for the last 17 years.

    For the last seven years I have been the manager of an adult mental health service in Dunedin.

    I love being able to use my strengths to enhance New Zealanders’ wellbeing through my work as an MH101 facilitator

  •  

    Haley Jacobs

    Facilitator - Addiction 101

    I have a background in Education and was a teacher for many years in South Africa as well as here in New Zealand.

    Due to life’s curve balls, I found myself working in the Mental Health and Addiction sector. I have had the privilege of working in a variety of roles, where I have supported people from all walks of life. I have a passion for people, and am so grateful that in my mahi, I am presented with so many opportunities to break down stigma and discrimination in the sector.

    No two days are the same in this field, which gives me the opportunity to learn, grow, make a difference and have fun.

    When I am not working, you will find me fishing, spending time with my amazing family, or watching something on Netflix.

  • Jillian

    Jillian Fordyce

    Facilitator - MH101®

    I feel privileged to be part of the Blueprint for Learning team and working with such wise people. MH101 is a unique workshop that I am very proud to have been associated with for the last ten years. My many years of clinical experience, from working in a variety of roles across the health system, enables me to share those experiences in a positive manner.

    Facilitating change for people can be life altering. I enjoy gently challenging the myths around illness and promoting wellbeing. I get heaps out of the workshops too, as we meet different people all over the country.

    As a semi-retired farmer I have a strong interest in rural health challenges and taking these workshops to rural groups is a great opportunity to facilitate change.

    It’s great that we go to regions and areas that often don’t get the opportunity to attend training and address significant needs. This is an incredible journey for all of us.

  • Juliana

    Juliana Korzon

    Facilitator - MH101®

    I am a registered nurse with practitioner experience in mental health, addiction and disability settings in both New Zealand/Aotearoa and the United Kingdom. I also have over a decade of experience delivering adult education.

    I’m committed to supporting learners to advance their understanding of mental health and addiction for themselves, their loved ones and their communities.

    I’m of English and Polish descent. I live in Wellington with my partner and when I’m not at work I can often be found wandering the beaches and hills of the Miramar peninsular with my dogs.

  • Kate Twyford

    Facilitator - MH101®

    Kia ora koutou.   I grew up in the King Country and have ties to both the Waikato and Wellington.  My career has seen me work in a variety of roles within mental health settings both in New Zealand and overseas, more recently working with volunteers in the area of refugee resettlement.

    I feel privileged to work this role which promotes health, enhances skills and knowledge and recognises importance of culture in understanding wellbeing.  I value the shared experiences and wisdom that each participant brings to a workshop and the new insights I gain from their contribution to the group discussions.   

    In my spare time I love the view from on top of a mountain, scratching around in my vegetable garden and riding mountain bike trails.

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Covid-19 Update

Under the Orange setting, we do not require a vaccine pass to attend in-person workshops. Participants are encouraged to wear a face mask when attending an in-person workshop, and physical distancing will be maintained. Online workshops continue to be available.