“The research is clear: if we don’t tackle mental health early, we risk failing the next generation at the start of their lives. Zurich’s support in Mitey is our commitment to promoting wellbeing for primary and intermediate school children at a critical time before entering their teenage years. Our hope is that it will ensure students are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to recognise and respond to mental health issues both in themselves and others,” said Brett Wainhouse, General Manager, Zurich New Zealand.
Sir John Kirwan says the Z Zurich Foundation pledge will help grow Mitey’s school base across the country and increase the number of coaches who work directly with schools.“Mitey is about inspiring change. It’s about exciting our kids in the way we teach them about their own mental health – and those of others. That’s why the Z Zurich Foundation’s pledge is so important. It will enable us to expand the positive impact Mitey is having to more schools and initiate the change we need in child mental health.”
Mitey takes a school-wide approach to mental health education, bringing teachers, students and communities together around a common goal – mentally thriving children. Each participating school is given a Mitey coach together with access to an online learning platform offering tools and resources. The secret to Mitey’s success is its coaches who are senior trained teachers and work directly in schools. They provide support and professional development to senior leadership teams and teachers setting them up to confidently and sustainably deliver effective mental health education school wide. Educating students in all aspects of mental health lays the foundations for them to nurture their mental health for the rest of their lives.
Mitey has been developed by education specialists at the University of Auckland and co-designed by a range of schools and communities, combining a deep and considered knowledge and understanding of what is required to embed mental health education in New Zealand schools. Mitey is about upskilling an entire teaching workforce so that they can confidently teach mental health education in the classroom in the same way they teach literacy and maths.
“Our global aspiration at the Z Zurich Foundation is to improve mental wellbeing by increasing knowledge, changing attitudes and behaviours, and breaking down stigma. Mitey is aligned to this knowledge and skill-building approach based on prevention. It has the potential to transform the way mental wellbeing is embedded in New Zealand’s education system,” said Barbara Jordan, Z Zurich Foundation Engagement Manager for the Asia Pacific region.