When it’s hard to find your heroes

A few weeks ago I got asked to give a guest lecture on addiction to a psychology undergraduate class at the University of Auckland.  To be fair, I was asked to fill in for the person who usually gives the lecture, who couldn’t make it. But I still felt just a little bit chuffed to be asked at all, given that I’m still really early in my career.  And nervous of course, giving a lecture to 150 students is no walk in the park when you’re not the biggest fan of public speaking!

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The introversion extroversion redux

April has been nominated as ‘space’ month on DPSN.  We’ve asked our bloggers to let us know what they think of in relation to the concept of ‘space’ – whether it’s the literal, physical space around them, mental space, emotional space, space in relationships or the space out there in the universe!  As always, we’re…

DPSN Team Favourites: The language of suffering (Sam)

The Language of Suffering was such an interesting blog post – I came across it before I started working for DPSN and I was working in the mental health sector. It stirred enough in me that I decided to comment (something I rarely do! ha!), and it’s still something I’m getting my head around – how do we talk about the hard stuff of mental illness, as well as balancing it with the positives that our unique brains bring us? What I took away from this post was that giving blanket rules about how to talk about Mental Illness isn’t helpful, because all our experiences, and ways of talking about it are – as always – diverse! – Sam

DPSN Team Favourites: Depression – a common problem with a unique resolution (Barbara)

Hello and happy new year! DPSN is back online and we thought we’d kick off February with a few of our favourite blogs of all time. I start with a little blog I wrote back in June last year as part of our ‘common and unique month’. Why is it my favourite? I don’t write much about my personal experience of depression any more. As someone who now works in mental health, my focus is more often on therapy, recovery and the mental health industry as a whole. But in reality, going through my own struggle is at the heart of why I ended up working where I am. As we move into a new year it feels good remind myself why I do the work that I do; and how incredibly grateful I am to be able to do it.

Depression and anxiety — illness not weakness. Or something else?

World Mental Health Day and New Zealand Mental Health Awareness Week both fall in October, so we’ve nominated this month as ‘mental health’ month on DPSN. We’ve asked our bloggers to let us know what they think on the issue of mental health, be it personal experiences, social and cultural attitudes and awareness, stories of supporting others, or the perspectives of those who work in the field. As always, we’re keen for you to be part of the conversation, so let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or jump over to our Facebook page to join the conversation.

Depression – a common problem with a unique resolution

It’s perhaps not a surprise to anyone that knows me, that when I hear the phase “unique and common” my mind goes straight to the area of mental health.

At age 21 I was diagnosed with depression. Or, in official diagnostic language, a Major Depressive Episode. Or, in layman’s terms, “clinical depression”.

UMAL2M Day 65: Jack

Today Jack gives us a meaningful video about how important his mum has been for helping him through depression: Don’t forget that you still have time to contribute! Watch the video below for tips: And send your video to, or ask for more info: umal2m@diversitynz.com