Workshop facilitators

Our people bring diverse skills, cultures and life experiences.

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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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    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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    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®

    Shreya is one of our MH101® facilitators.

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    Sialei Rhoades

    Facilitator - MH101®

    My name is Sialei Anamani and I have been a passionate facilitator of the MH101 programme since 2013. My background is in programme delivery, development, coaching and mentoring, and of course adult education and facilitation.

    I have a real interest in trauma informed research and care and believe this field is going to start changing our mental health system in the years to come. It's an honour to be able to deliver a programme that touches people's lives in a real way and encourages positive change.

    I get to be a part of this every day I go to work, walking alongside people as they look at their wellbeing and learn about ways to support themselves and others - a true blessing!

    Outside of my work with MH101, I am a mother of a gorgeous four-year-old boy, and care for my own wellbeing by ensuring I have balance by exploring creative endeavours, writing music, sport and staying connected with family and friends. 

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    Suzy Morrison

    Facilitator - Addiction 101

    I was born in Kaitangata and raised in Milton. I have two daughters and three grandchildren and I’ve lived in Auckland for 40+ years.

    I’ve been working in the addiction sector in both residential and community settings for more than 20 years, latterly in an addiction workforce development role. I’m proud to be part of Addiction 101.

    It’s a person-centered and interactive workshop which reduces stigma for people and their family and whānau. We are all learning together.

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    Synthia Dash

    Facilitator - MH101®

    I am of Samoan and European decent. I have worked in the mental health, addiction, disability and social service sectors for 20 years. I’ve had both frontline support roles working with people with disabilities, at risk youth and the elderly, and back-facing roles in workforce development, cultural competency, service quality and improvement, systemic advocacy and mental health research.

    I was motivated to become an MH101 facilitator through my passion for using my lived experience to breakdown stigma and discrimination towards mental illness and to equip ordinary New Zealanders with knowledge and tools to support their own mental health and wellbeing.

    I love empowering people to recognise, relate and respond appropriately to those with mental distress, whether it be their clients, friends or family. I believe we all have a role to help New Zealanders’ mental health flourish and to prevent suicide and self-harm in our communities.

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    Vito Nonumalo

    Facilitator - MH101®

    Talofa lava, I’m a New Zealand-born Samoan, originally from Wellington but now living in the South Island.

    My career in mental health spans 20 years, but originally come from a background in broadcasting and journalism. What draws me to work in this area is my own personal experience of depression and anxiety and what it has taught me not just about myself, but about people in general.

    I‘ve been a facilitator with the MH101 workshop programme since it started in 2009 and I love the chance to share knowledge with people from all walks of life.

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Workshops update

We are working towards delivering MH101® and Addiction 101 as a series of webinars. Further information and booking options will be available soon.