New Zealand to host mental health and disability leaders from around the world

News article

25 October 2022

Over 300 mental health and disability leaders will be in Christchurch tomorrow for a two-day conference to share examples of innovation, best practice, insights, and ideas to overcome challenges and improve mental health and disability services.

Hosted by the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) and the International Initiative for Disability Leadership (IIDL), the conference is a two-day intensive knowledge and leadership exchange programme with participants predominantly from Australasia and the Pacific.

‘As New Zealand is a founding member of the IIMHL, we are delighted to welcome mental health and disability leaders to Christchurch for what is sure to be two busy days of sharing innovations, networking, and problem-solving across countries and agencies,’ said Robyn Shearer, Deputy Chief Executive of Manatū Hauora – Ministry of Health and one of the MCs for the event.

‘One of the real benefits about this event is that along with clinical, executive, and research leaders, we also have people with lived experience, carers, and community workers attending, ensuring that all leaders across the sector are able to participate and share their expertise,’ says Ms Shearer.

The theme for the event is ‘Valuing Inclusion, Resilience and Growth – Kaingākautia te Whakawhāiti Tāngata, te Ngākau Manawaroa, te Puāwaitanga o te Tangata’, which Ms Shearer says makes Christchurch uniquely suited to be the host city.

There will be a range of local and international speakers at the closed-door forum, including the Minister for Health, Hon Andrew Little, and the Minister for Disability Issues, Hon Poto Williams.

Participants will also hear a declaration on the topic of youth wellbeing, presented by representatives of the Youth Leadership Symposium 2022 – Mana Rangatahi Hui Taumata, held in Christchurch on 25 October. This full-day hui brought together young leaders, aged between 16 and 30 years old from across the Pacific region, to create a declaration highlighting the enablers and challenges of youth wellbeing and some specific recommendations to further improve the state of youth wellbeing, both nationally and internationally.

About the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) and the International Initiative for Disability Leadership (IIDL)

The IIMHL and IIDL are government-sponsored networks enabling opportunities for countries to share practices, policy, and leadership with each other in mental health and disability.

The IIMHL and IIDL organise systems for leaders to share innovations, network and problem solve across countries and agencies. 

New Zealand is a founding member of IIMHL. Other member countries are the United States of America, England, Scotland, Republic of Ireland, Canada, Sweden, The Netherlands and Australia.

For more information, see the IIMHL website.

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