Workshop facilitators

Our people bring diverse skills, cultures and life experiences.

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    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.

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    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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    Katherine Owen

    Facilitator - MH101®

    I am a registered comprehensive nurse with 25 years’ experience working in the mental health and addiction sector both in New Zealand and in the United Kingdom.

    I currently work in nursing education, developing the next generation of mental health nurses.

    I’m passionate about supporting the wellbeing of individuals, families, communities and organisations through community development and user-driven services. What I enjoy most about being an MH101 facilitator is meeting our amazing participants who bring empathy, compassion and the desire to make a difference in their own communities.

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    Katie Siueva

    Facilitator - MH101®

    There is something significant that happens when people come together in one of our workshops with the intention to understand an issue at a deeper level.

    I really enjoy being a part of this kaupapa; that we are investing time in meaningful conversations about health and wellbeing and learning how to better support ourselves and those around us. 

    When I'm not facilitating you can find me drinking too much coffee, walking near the beach or bush, listening to podcasts and spending time with whānau."


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    Kayte Godward

    Facilitator - MH101®

    Kia Ora, Kia Orana, Malo e lelei, Talofa Lava, Bula! 

    I believe a profound connection occurs within each of us when we collaborate with others to explore, examine, and accept the human experience in its entirety. It is in the sharp ebbs, expansive flows, weathered highs, and cavernous lows that we exist in our shared humanity. It is those visceral, teachable moments from our lived experience that connect us. 

    My journey has led me into a variety of roles across the health and social services where I specialised in crisis-intervention both on the front-line and as an educator in work-force development. I currently provide services as an independent consultant/educator working with various organisations.

    In my creative life, I am an award-winning professional actress, writer, director, wife, and mother of two beautiful tamariki. We all live near Raglan on the west coast.

    Mauri Ora!


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    Kimberly Bignell

    Facilitator - MH101®

    I've worked in the mental health sector in a variety of both clinical and peer roles over the last 12 years. MH101 is a workshop I feel proud to facilitate. It’s an incredibly respectful workshop that honours both the experience of mental distress and the experience of those in supporting roles – and that’s all of us!

    Most of my clinical work has been focused on children, young people and their families, as well as working alongside family members of those experiencing mental illness/distress.

    Alongside my colleagues, I try to approach a serious topic with a little lightness and a touch of humour.

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     Kirsty Pillay-Hansen

    Kirsty Pillay-Hansen

    Facilitator - MH101

    Kia ora. I am proud to call beautiful sunny Tutukaka in Northland home and live in a pretty special place surrounded by native bush, tūi, kereru, gannets and the sea with my husband and our two sons.

    I'm South African-Indian and Pākeha and my husband is Māori-Chinese-Pākeha and I love working with people from diverse backgrounds.

    I am trained with an MA in psychology and my work background is in programme, training and facilitation roles in youth and community development, hauora and health promotion, mental health, mentoring and leadership development.

    My passion is adult training and education and working with groups of like-minded people to facilitate inclusive and safe spaces. Alongside this work with MH101, I provide supervision to youth workers across Northland and carry out research and programme development for the University of Auckland.

    I love being involved in my kids' school and our community and also time to myself, hanging out in nature, swimming in the sea, and spending time on my yoga mat.


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    Kristal O'Neill

    Facilitator - Corrections Health Service Nurses Primary Mental Health and Addiction Education Programme

    Kristal facilitates the Corrections Health Service Nurses Primary Mental Health and Addiction Education Programme.

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    Lisa Perniskie

    Facilitator - Addiction 101

    Lisa is one of our facilitators for Addiction 101.

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    Mathew McMillan

    Facilitator - Addiction 101

    I grew up in the Hawkes Bay but live in Nelson with my wife and our three boys.  I have a Social Work and Health Science background and have worked in a variety of settings including Alcohol and Drug Outpatient and Inpatient Services.  I am now self-employed and operate a small Addiction Service with the help of two counselors.  My focus is problem gambling and gaming, though I also provide clinical supervision and teach part-time. I was motivated into this work for a number of reasons and remain passionate about seeing effective support for those facing addiction issues and mental distress.  

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    Michelle Brewerton

    Facilitator - Addiction 101

    Michelle is a project lead with Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui.

    She has qualifications in Psychotherapy and Health Science and has worked in the Alcohol and Drug Sector for 20 years as a clinician, supervisor in Counties Manukau and family advisor for CADS Auckland.

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    Moira Crispe

    I feel privileged to be a facilitator of MH101, as I’m passionate about facilitating discussion about mental health and wellbeing and supporting people to increase their knowledge and confidence.

    I have a broad knowledge of mental health with a focus on trauma informed care and suicide prevention. I bring a sense of compassion and empathy to the role.

    I really enjoy meeting and engaging with people who attend the workshop. It’s great to share about the services that are being provided in our communities, and the benefit these can provide to those facing challenges in life.

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    Moira Gilmour

    Facilitator - Addiction 101

    Moira is one of our Addiction 101 facilitators.

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    Nan Blanchard

    Facilitator - MH101®

    Kia ora koutou

    I am a counsellor with over 20 years’ experience and a background in counsellor education, student counselling, private practice and supervision.

    My professional qualifications include a Master of Counselling from Massey University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Victoria University of Wellington. I am a long-term member of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC).

    I am delighted to be a facilitator for MH101®. I value the way this workshop provides a collaborative context for learning, drawing on lived experience and research informed practice to promote, enhance and develop wellbeing.

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    Perise Iupeli

    Facilitator - MH101®

    Talofa lava all! I am super passionate about all things holistic – spirit, soul and body.

    What Blueprint for Learning offers is an opportunity for me to speak life and bring over two decades of professional and personal development in education and health – alongside being vulnerable and open with how I have been able to overcome many negative thought patterns to where I am today – and where I am going!

    My heart is to see people thrive in every area of their lives, and when we win the battle in our minds, we win in life!

    This is an incredible honour!

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    Rachel Stephenson

    Facilitator - MH101®, Leading Wellbeing at Work

    I have a strong background in mental health and disability with close to 30 years’ experience in a variety of roles.

    I’m passionate about enhancing wellbeing and developing mental toughness and resilience.

    What I enjoy most about delivering MH101 is meeting new people, demystifying mental illness, reducing stigma, teaching participants how to look after themselves, validating the skills and experience that all participants bring with them and teaching a few new techniques to assist in supporting people’s experiences of mental distress.

    I believe one of my greatest strengths is storytelling and the ability to relate topics back to everyday life.

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    Renee McDermott

    Facilitator - MH101®, Leading Wellbeing at Work

    Tena koutou katoa. I have worked in the mental health sector for more than 20 years. Over the years I have held a variety of roles, including systematic advocacy, management of peer mental health services, supervision, workshop development and one-on-ones with people who experience mental illness and their families.

    I have a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and a certificate in Māori studies. I’m a qualified mental health supervisor and registered teacher.

    I have facilitated workshops for Blueprint for Learning for several years and I love working with an organisation that I know embraces holistic and evidence-based programmes to support strong, healthy workplaces, families and communities.

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    Rhys McDonald

    Facilitator - MH101® and Addiction101

    I work as a registered drug and alcohol counsellor for a district health board, bringing with me clinical experience in working with people and families who are experiencing issues with the use of drugs and alcohol.

    In addition, I have my own lived experience of addiction and recovery which enables me to bring a personal perspective to the workshops.

    What I love most about the work is seeing people realise as the day progresses that they already have many of the skills needed to support both themselves and others experiencing mental distress.

    I think it’s a privilege to be able to share my own journey in the workshop, which I hope helps in some way to reduce stigma and discrimination.

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    Shona McNeil

    Facilitator - MH101®

    Hello. I relocated with my husband from the west of Scotland in 2011 and we now live on the beautiful Kāpiti Coast.

    My background is in theatre and community arts, and while I loved performing, I got greater satisfaction from working with diverse groups, including prisoners and isolated seniors. I saw how creativity could light a spark in the darkest soul and help mend broken hearts.

    I am now a counsellor with Skylight Trust, and also manage a wellbeing space for tāngata whai ora, so I'm fortunate to see lives change through connection and creativity.

    When people learn together magic happens so I’m looking forward to my new role as a Blueprint for Learning facilitator.

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    Shreya Rao

    Facilitator - MH101®

    Kia ora tātou 
    Ko Puketāpapa te maunga 
    Ko Manukau te moana 
    Nō Tāmaki Makaurau ahau
    Ko Shreya tōku ingoa

     I began working in the advocacy space in 2012. I was passionate about youth mental health and wanted to see a change. My advocacy took me into clinical services, onto governance boards, and on various panels at conferences. I advocated for youth friendly services, services that catered to our Asian youth, and focused energy on prevention. During this time, I also gained conjoint degrees in Public Health and Science (Psychology). 

    My proudest achievements are the young people I mentored through programmes with the Mental Health Foundation and Changing Minds. Our young people have spoken at schools, showcased art and poetry, and shared their stories on tv. It gives me great pride to see these rangatahi continue to champion the kaupapa our forebearers began. 

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Covid-19 Update

Blueprint for Learning face-to-face workshops will continue at Level 1 for locations outside of Auckland. Face-to-face workshops will resume in Auckland once they move to Level 2 and restrictions on gatherings have been lifted.