Community News: Combating Mental Illness Stigma with Young People’s Ideas

Combating Mental Illness Stigma with Young People’s Ideas

January 20, 2016


POD (Point of Difference) is a new initiative that’s all about supporting young people to end the stigma surrounding mental illness. The programme hooks young people up with the right people, develops their skills and sees their ideas all the way through to a reality.

POD is especially on the lookout for young people who have lived with mental distress and have creative ideas to combat discrimination. They’re keen on projects involving apps, arts, videos, drama, writing and more. There are no limits on creativity. The chosen young creators will be provided with engaging workshops, monthly mentoring sessions, networks and even a launch for the idea. POD graduates will be equipped the right knowledge, connections and inspiration to use their experiences to become leaders in social change.

In New Zealand, there has been a huge increase in young people being diagnosed with mental illnesses. The latest Mental Health Foundation report shows those suffering often experience name calling, belittling attitudes and exclusion from those around them. These forms of discrimination only aggravate a young person’s mental wellbeing. Hence, programmes like POD are an excellent step in the right direction to helping young people.

How to apply for POD

Eligibility for POD is pretty simple. If you’re between 17 and 24, have experienced mental illness and have ideas to make a difference POD is waiting to hear from you. Individuals and groups are welcome to apply. You can find out more information here.

Application Information

POD one applications close Friday 4 March 2016

POD two applications close Friday 3 June 2016

The five projects selected for POD one will be announced on Wednesday 16 March 2016. 

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