All Blacks legend Sir John Kirwan has partnered with Land Rover on a landmark drive across Aotearoa to raise awareness for mental health – with an ambition to raise enough money to roll out Mitey to 40 more schools, benefitting 11,000 Kiwi kids, across the country.
What is Mitey?
Mitey is a new approach to teaching mental health as part of the New Zealand curriculum, enabling children to learn about it at school, every day, just like literacy and maths.
Mitey was developed over two years by the Sir John Kirwan Foundation with input from highly experienced specialists from the University of Auckland as well as New Zealand educators, teachers and clinicians.
Provided free to New Zealand primary and intermediate schools, Mitey has already positively impacted more than 12,000 New Zealand children.
The milestone drive and ambitious fundraising target have been launched in response to new research that highlights almost two thirds of us (60%) don’t believe we’re doing enough as a country to improve our children’s mental wellbeing.
71% of Kiwis think we need to invest in more school-based education, 70% believe we need improved government and healthcare services and 51% think it will take a cultural shift in the New Zealand psyche.
Sir John Kirwan commented:
“We have some of the worst mental health statistics in the OECD, with particularly high youth suicide rates, and we believe it will take a generation to change this. Research shows us that if we can teach the ‘ABC of mental health’, consistently, to children when they’re young – they will understand how to manage life’s ups and downs, and they’ll have better empathy for others who may be having a tough time.”
“We have a hugely ambitious goal to raise $1 million for the future wellbeing of our tamaraki. This money will allow us to expand the Mitey programme to 40 schools, positively impacting the lives of more than 11,000 Kiwi kids. This is an investment in your children, your whanau and your grandchildren; and together I know we can make a huge difference.”
To help educate the New Zealand public on a collective mental health approach that starts with our children, Sir John will hold eight community events across July, open to members of the public, school community and mental health advocates to attend. These will be free to join at:
- Auckland: July 1st
- Hamilton: July 4th
- Tauranga: July 5th
- Napier: July 6th
- Wellington: July 7th
- Christchurch: July 8th
- Dunedin: July 11th
- Invercargill: July 12th