“In honour of Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) and to better support the wellbeing of our most at-risk communities, Kiwi digital mental health company, Clearhead, has today released further resources to provide more tailored support for Māori, in partnership with nib foundation.
Alongside a suite of culturally appropriate upgrades across its website, Clearhead has launched a new content series with former All Black and Clearhead ambassador, Nehe Milner-Skudder (Ngāti Porou, Tapuika), with the hope of encouraging more open conversation about mental health across Māori communities.
The content series features Milner-Skudder sharing details of his own mental health journey, and the tips and strategies that helped him overcome his struggles – including the importance of reaching out to others for support.
Clearhead CEO, Dr Angela Lim says that while Māori populations are consistently over-represented in Kiwi suicide statistics and are twice as likely to experience mental health issues than non-Māori, most of the resources available in New Zealand are not designed to address these inequities.
“It’s important to note that the loss of indigenous culture and heritage can lead to challenges with identity, confidence, self-esteem, and a sense of belonging. We know from our own user data that Māori are 75% more likely to feel as though they don’t belong – and some of that comes down to not having adequate culturally responsive wellbeing support,” Dr Lim said.
“We wanted to help bridge that gap and respond to the feedback of our Māori users, who want to see content that looks and sounds like them to improve the chances of the material resonating,” she said.
Clearhead ambassador, Nehe Milner-Skudder, says he’s proud to lend his support to the cause, and hopes that by sharing his story, more Kiwis (and in particular more Māori) will feel more comfortable to reach out when in need.
“I used to see vulnerability as a weakness, but I’ve grown to understand that it leads to great strength. I think that’s a difficult mental obstacle to overcome, especially as a proud Māori male. What I hope people get from me sharing my story, is that you’re never alone in this battle and that there are resources and tools out there to help anyone who’s struggling,” he added.
The series of 20 videos sharing Milner-Skudder’s journey will be released via Clearhead’s Facebook Page during MHAW and will sit permanently on Clearhead’s website. Clearhead’s Māori-friendly website refresh is also live from today and now incorporates Kiwiana designs and includes a more holistic wellbeing journey, taking into consideration Māori models of care such as Manaakitanga – a principle that captures the idea of caring, supporting and uplifting others.
nib foundation Executive Officer, Amy Tribe, says “While mental illness doesn’t discriminate and can affect anyone, at any stage in their life, we know Māori are 30% more likely go on with these conditions undiagnosed compared to other ethnic groups*.
By funding the development of these resources through our foundation, we hope to help reduce some of the stigma around seeking support and promote Māori feeling more comfortable and empowered to seek help if and when it’s needed,” said Mrs Tribe.”