As part of the 'Stepping Out of the Shadows' campaign, we are asking you to add your name to the growing list of people who firmly believe that those with 'lived experience' of Mental Health & Addiction, be included in all decision making with regards to policy, treatment and care.


There are many professionals and academics dedicated to the treatment and prevention of MH&A and work tirelessly on our behalf. However, all too much is lost in translation and communication between those in the profession and those who are living the experience 24/7. We are sometimes asked for our opinion on a matter but rarely are we active members of the decision-making process which significantly affects our lives and well being.

We want to be pro-active in our own destiny; it is vital to our well-being.

We feel we are as much of an expert on our needs, as any professional is and that our knowledge and insight is invaluable. However, for far too long we have been ignored and frozen out of the decision-making process which, in our observations and experience, is counterproductive to the well-being of 100's of thousands. There is little or no trust in the system any longer, causing the mental health of many to deteriorate. Confidence needs to be restored to the people.We also need to feel included and that our voice matters.

Therefore, in the interest of Equality & Diversity and transparency, we are proposing that a nationwide network of panels be set up. Each panel to be made up solely of people with lived experience of Mental Health & Addiction. The purpose of the panels will be to:

  • Scrutinise and approve current policies and make recommendations for any changes deemed to be necessary for the best interest of consumers.

  • Scrutinise and approve any proposed policies and make recommendations for modifications considered essential for the best interest of consumers.

  • Be consulted by Professionals and Service Providers as to 'best practices' in the interest of consumers.


If you feel strongly about the above issues, become part of the solution and sign our petition.

If you have family members and friends who also have an interest in making effective changes, please ask them to sign it too.

Our Battle Cry

I once stood in the shadows in silence, as I watch the years roll by. None saw the pain that I carried, nor the tears I quietly cried; for the years I lost to mental health, not knowing who to be. For the friends I lost to mental health; I'll no more get to see.
I´ve lived my life in the shadows, on the dark side of the moon.  More and more people are joining us, and our numbers are starting to boom. As we welcome each weary traveller; giving comfort we realise, we all speak a similar language, and awareness is now on the rise.

Though we once were the wilderness voices, just the dark side of the moon to explore, we are now the masters of knowledge and will stand in the shadows no more. For far too long we have dwelt there, accepting that others knew best. But we've learned that our insight is valuable, and that fact; not one can contest.

For all of our lives, we've been labelled, defining each step of our way, but we choose to step from the darkness; to stand tall, heads high every day. No longer will labels define us, they're not really who we are. It's time to embrace our uniqueness and the fact that we've come so far.

Though often battle weary; scars outside and within; we stand tall as Mental Health Warriors, with a new fight to begin. It's time to fight for our rightful place in our society.  To educate, to live and work and claim our destiny.

Mental health & Addiction in NZ is not just a problem; it's a crisis.

The government is currently conducting yet another Inquiry into the situation. But we have found we have not really been included in the decision making. 

So, out of sheer frustration, we are launching a campaign to lobby the government on behalf of the people, for the people.

Enough is Enough

Enough of the endless Inquiries which have cost the taxpayers countless millions. Enough of the years of deliberation. Enough of the debates on what to do. Enough of the shame we are forced to carry......Enough of the deaths. 

It's time to take action. It's time to 'Step out of the Shadows' and be heard

It's time to speak Truth to Power.  It's time to take control. It's time to be proud.

We're all touched by the devastating effects Mental Health & Addition in one way or another. Therefore, we are calling upon you all to 'Step out of the Shadows' and join us in our fight for the right to be included in the process of finding solutions. Not to be just a 'token' member on a panel or committee, but to be the majority members and advisors.

No matter where or who you are, you are important to us. Your name matters. You have a voice. Join us. Sign up to be a Mental Health Warrior. Sign our petitions. Donate to our cause, enabling us to lobby the government and hold them accountable. 

Gift your time and resources

If you are a professional and feel passionate about Mental Health and Addiction, we ask you to join the Stepping out of the Shadows Campaign and to gift us your time and knowledge. We need Lawyers, Barristers, Accountants, Doctors,  Teachers, Public Speakers, Fundraisers. Anyone who feels they have a skill which will benefit us. We also need sponsors and donors. We need you more than ever.

It’s time to fight for our rightful place in our society. To educate, to live and work and claim our destiny.
— The People's Voice

There is no time to waste. Join the movement. #steppingoutoftheshadows