Mental health and addictions charities and community groups get share of $200K to support people through impacts of COVID-19

Media release

19 July 2020

$200,000 in funding has been allocated to 16 charities and community groups, to help support people living with mental health and addictions challenges who have been impacted by COVID-19.

Funded by the Ministry of Health, the Whai Ora, Whiti Ora Fund is being administered by the Mental Health Foundation who recently called for applications for grants for up to $20,000 each.

“These grants will help charities and community groups across Aotearoa keep their communities connected, supported and informed with updates about the impacts of COVID-19 so they can stay well,” said Robyn Shearer, Deputy Director-General Mental Health and Addiction.

The charities and groups who have received funding support a wide range of communities who are at more risk in the wake of COVID-19 including older people, Mâori, Pasifika, new parents, young people, rural communities, rainbow and Asian communities and people with a background as migrants and refugees.  The winning charities and groups are spread across Aotearoa’s geographical centres and regions, and their funded services and initiatives are community-led by design.

“Communities have a wealth of knowledge, skills and resources that are best suited to the people they are there to help. Communities know what they need. That’s why funds like this are so important in supporting communities to help themselves,” said Ms Shearer.

The Whai Ora, Whiti Ora Fund has been welcomed by mental health and addictions-focused charities and community groups at a time when need has been high and people in need of assistance isolated.

“Under conditions of high stress and uncertainty, we’ve been impressed with how deftly charities and community groups have pivoted their services during COVID-19 to help those of us living with mental health and addictions challenges shine. The Whai Ora, Whiti Ora Fund is a much-needed boost for these groups that will allow them to continue, or start to, support, connect and inform diverse communities in the ways that work best for them,” said Shaun Robinson, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation.

The Whai Ora, Whiti Ora Fund is designed to help charities and community groups support their communities over the coming three months, which continues to be a time of uncertainty for many.

The services and initiatives funded include Mâori counselling and support services for rural communities; weekly support programmes for men; arts therapy for children; online engagement and connection activities for Pasifika communities; a perinatal depression recovery programme for new mothers; community programmes enabling whânau to assist loved ones in their recovery; programmes helping older people to access online resources and services; translated resources around support services in seven Asian languages; a digital peer support programme for young women of colour and a community support group led by people identifying as both rainbow and a refugee or asylum seeker. 

The 16 recipient organisations are:

  1. Able Charity Trust, Dunedin
  2. Akaroa Resource Collective Trust, Akaroa Heartlands
  3. Asian Family Services, Auckland/Wellington
  4. Creative Kids Trust Board, Blenheim
  5. Family Support Services Kaiwaka/Mangawhai Inc, Kaiwaka/Mangawhai/Maungatoroto/ Wellsford
  6. He Waka Taiora, South Auckland
  7. Loss and Grief Support Trust, Southland 
  8. Mother’s Helpers, Auckland
  9. Nga Manga Puriri Trust, Northland
  10. Pacific Island Synod, Nationwide
  11. Rainbow Path, Auckland/Wellington
  12. Te Aroha Noa Community Services, Palmerston North
  13. Te Poho Collective- supported by Mahitahi Trust, Nationwide
  14. Te Roopu Taurima, South Auckland
  15. Turning Point Trust, Tauranga
  16. Waiheke Adult Literacy Inc, Waiheke Island

Media contact

Peter Abernethy
021 366 111

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