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An exciting new service to support taiohi in Hamilton and Tauranga

Three staff members standing outside the Real service centre.Real’s exciting new youth service, Whetū Marewa, launched in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions in April 2021.

Whetū Marewa aims to build confidence, resilience and wellbeing in taiohi (young people), aged 12 to 24-years-old, who are living with mild to moderate mental health and addiction-related issues and social stressors.

Whetū Marewa, which means ‘rising stars’ in te reo, is a reference to the taiohi the service will support and the potential they have to lead healthy and happy lives.

The mobile service has an outreach approach, providing support from registered health professionals and youth workers in schools and community clinics, and offering access to a range of supported interventions when needed.

The service will:

  • work with schools and community agencies to identify high-risk young people who would benefit from psychological interventions
  • build awareness of mental health concerns, contributions and early signs of illness
  • provide education and information on mental health and wellbeing for taiohi
  • work directly with taiohi, along with their whānau and peers, to build resilience and increase wellbeing.

Support to taiohi is provided using a positive youth development model of care which employs brief interventions such as:

  • talking therapies (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Motivational Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)
  • youth coaching and mentoring
  • Kaupapa Māori cultural interventions including a focus on positive cultural identity, kapa haka, waiata, whakapapa and whānau ora
  • a range of recreational and cultural activities to engage taiohi and help them to build skills and confidence, establish community connections and healthy, wellbeing-focused lifestyle choices.

“We’re excited to start making contact with local schools and community groups as we begin to roll out this awesome new service.”

– Naomi Paekau, Real Waikato team coach

Real’s Bay of Plenty team coach, Danica Thompson, leads the service in Tauranga alongside registered social worker, Caroline Henry, and youth worker, Rachel Church.

Danica says, “Our team has a combined wealth of over 50 years experience working with taiohi in the mental health, wellbeing and addiction space”.

The service in Hamilton will be led by Real Waikato team coach, Naomi Paekau, who will work with newly appointed registered health professional, Kaea Hongara. The team also hopes to appoint a female youth worker soon.

Naomi says, “We’re excited to start making contact with local schools and community groups as we begin to roll out this awesome new service”.

To enquire about Whetū Marewa, contact our Real teams in Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

Caption: The Real Whetū Marewa team in Tauranga (left to right) Rachel Church, Caroline Henry and Danica Thompson.