Very encouraging feedback on Asylum magazine from New Zealand…

A week and a half ago I came back from Australia and New Zealand…I went Down Under for 2 weeks for a conference on Service User Academia in Melbourne and then I went to New Zealand to stay with a colleague…fantastic trip, a very rich experience on many levels …I was sorry to come back…

Maori wood carving art
Maori Wood Carving Art, New Zealand (

Whilst in New Zealand,  I visited the Kites Trust, a mental health organisation where there is a very strong element of peer/service user/consumer  leadership…I had a very warm welcome there, I spoke to people about Asylum, I gave out copies of Asylum from different past and current issues,  and I got to talk  to a number of people about their roles and work in the organisation including the life and business partner of Mary O’ Hagan…

The Kites Trust motto is  ‘Valuing, respecting and utilising people’s mental health experiences’-
Ka wāriu ka whakaute a ka whakapau e ngā wheako mate a hinengaro o ngā tangata
Kite flying_jinshan peasant painting
Kite Flying – Painting from China (
Kites is about flying ideas and creating innovative ways of working. Kites advocates equal opportunities for, and consumer leadership by people with mental distress and/or addiction issues. Some of the ways  Kites promotes social inclusion and full citizenship rights are through: Consumer LeadershipPeer supportFacilitationResearch and EvaluationAnti-stigma and discrimination education and trainingSystemic Advocacy. Further information on the Kites Trust can be found on
One of the consumer/service user workers I met at Kites Trust, Eileen Wanda, has sent me the following message:
‘Hi Dina,
Eileen here from little old NZ! was lovely to meet you when you were over. I enjoyed reading your thoughts [on CBT on your Asylum blog]. CBT really is seen as the holy grail these days – it would be interesting to hear from someone who has done CBT for OCD about what helped their recovery – was it the CBT in combination with other things? I have had a few go’s at CBT for depression – we can access 6 sessions here through our GP’s, sadly it wasn’t a quick fix for me!
By the way- we absolutely love the latest edition of Asylum – just had time for a quick scan so far – we will subscribe! [my emphasis]
Take care
I was thrilled to receive such encouraging feedback on Asylum from New Zealand…

Koru by Zelandiya – Koru (Spiral) is a symbol used by New Zealand’s Maori people to represent new life, growth, rebirth