Our final Auckland event of 2020 was on Wednesday 9th December at the Ellen Melville Centre. After what was a tough 2020 for a number of people, we wanted our event to have a focus on mental health.
The first half hour of the event was networking with guacamole, chips and kombucha. The presentation followed.
Our first speaker was Sarah Hetrick, a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor of Youth Mental Health in the Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Auckland. A lot of the focus of her work is on youth depression and suicide prevention. Sarah shared with us a number of digital tools she is working on and how these can assist us to recognise depression in youth, e.g. they can preload a message to a 'safe person' when they are feeling distressed and all that they have to do is click a button.
The second speaker was Dr. Niki Harré, an academic and professor at the University of Auckland. Niki's research is in the area of community psychology and the psychology of sustainability. Niki shared her research on these topics which she has written two books on.
After the event, Sarah invited anyone to collaborate with her and help with the design/testing of the digital tools.
2021 will represent a fresh start for many people, but being vigilant and intentional about minding our mental well-being is going to be key to a thriving community.