Dr Wendy Lader

Dr. Lader is co-founder of the S.A.F.E. (Self Abuse Finally Ends) Alternatives® Program. An internationally recognized expert on the treatment of self-injury, she lectures extensively on the subject and is co-author of the book, Bodily Harm: The Breakthrough Healing Program for Self-Injurers as well as Self Injury: A Manual for School Professionals. 

She also served as the expert for a training video on Self-Injury for the American Psychological Association. Dr. Lader is co- founder of the Self-Injury Foundation and a founding member of the International Society for the Study of Self-Injury. 

With more than 30 years practical experience working with self-injurers, affiliation with the S.A.F.E. Alternatives® Program Dr Lader brings a unique mix of practical experience and theoretical knowledge to this subject area. 

Dr Vicki Ross

Dr Vicki Ross is a research fellow and social psychologist at the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention (AISRAP), Griffith University. Her research encompasses a wide range of areas, including workplace suicide prevention, suicide prevention in young males, rail suicide and suicide hotspots, suicide and natural disasters, program evaluation, and suicide bereavement and postvention support. 

Her research interests span all aspects of evidence-based suicide prevention, policy and practice. She has published numerous peer reviewed articles and book chapters, and provides expert advice to suicide prevention committees at regional, state and national levels across Australasia. 

Vicki is the chief investigator on a number of government and commercial consultancy projects (including the Lifeline Foundation, Gold Coast University Hospital, Mental Illness Fellowship Queensland, Beyondblue, Mates in Construction, and Energy Queensland). She is currently working in collaboration with Gold Coast University Hospital in evaluating a component of their Zero Suicide program. 

Prof Ron Paterson

Ron Paterson is a Professor of Law at the University of Auckland Faculty of Law. He was awarded an ONZM for services to health in 2011, is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Melbourne Law School, and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2014.

His career has been spent in tertiary education and in public service roles including Deputy Director-General of Health 1999–2000, Health and Disability Commissioner 2000–2010, Chair of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme 2010–13, and Parliamentary Ombudsman 2013–16. 

With law degrees from Auckland and Oxford Universities, Ron has held Fulbright and Harkness Fellowships, in biomedical ethics and health policy. He has researched and lectured in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia, and is an international expert on complaints, healthcare quality and the regulation of health professions. He is the co-editor of Health Law in New Zealand (2015) and author of The Good Doctor: What Patients Want (2012). 

Dr Steve Duffy

Steve works as a practicing psychiatrist as well as his Clinical Director role in Canterbury.

He trained in medicine in the University of Otago and specialised in Psychiatry while practicing in Christchurch. He previously held an appointment as Clinical Director of community psychiatric services before his inpatient role.

Steve has taken a keen interest in service development and organisation and completed an MBA at the University of Canterbury in 2014 with a focus on Zero Suicide and The Henry Ford Perfect Care Programme. He has led projects on information service upgrades and is a sponsor of the KPI (Key Performance Indicator) benchmarking forum. He is a strong advocate for improving patient experiences and outcomes with information and evidence led service development.

Dr Mike Ang

Mike Ang has been the clinical director of the adult mental health service, comprised of both inpatient and community services at Waitemata District Health Board (WDHB) in Auckland since 2013. He is one of the national adult leads for the adult Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and is also the Director Area Mental Health Services (DAMHS) for WDHB. 

Mike will be the clinical lead to introduce the zero suicide strategy into WDHB mental health services.

Moria Clunie

Moira manages a range of programmes related to suicide prevention, bereavement support and youth well being at the Mental Health Foundation. Her focus is on equipping family, whãnau and friends with the information and tools they need to support their loved ones.

She is an experienced project and programme manager within the not-for-profit, disability and mental health sectors. Predominantly in management, her background has been public policy, accessible publishing, web development and environmental engineering.

Jay Hohaia-Portelli

Jay Hohaia-Portelli, comes from the foot of the auspicious Mt Taranaki, from the Iwi of Taranaki, Ngati Ruanui and Ngaruahine, being raised in Opunake with whanau. In 1994 he graduated in Social Work and undertook his Masters, with a focus on Health and Social Equity for Maori and Pacific people utilising Mental Health Services.

He has worked within the health and disability sector, including roles as an AOD Clinician for Te Atea Marino and the Maori Regional Mental Health and Addictions service, and later as a Projects Manager for an Auckland Urban Marae. His current role is the Consumer Leader for Kãhui Tu Kaha (formerly known as Affinity).

Jay has a lived experience of suicide, supports the kaupapa of Zero Suicides and is eager to facilitate with achieving the goals.

Katerina Clark

Katerina Clark (Kat) was born in Russia and adopted by a New Zealand couple, residing in the BOP.  She is in her final year of studying the Bachelor of Social Work through the University of Waikato, and is a student ambassador for the University in Tauranga.

In her twenties Kat came to the realisation of her sexual orientation and due to the lack of support in her community created Tauranga Pryde - the first LGBTQ youth group. As founder of this group she has won numinous awards, including being the first person to ever win ‘two’ youth week awards at the same time presented by Nikki Kaye, and the Local Hero New Zealander of the Year medal winner in Tauranga in 2015.

During Kat’s studies, she has created ‘Rainbow Corner’ on her University campus and has spoken at PONZ workshops, to schools, and will speak at the upcoming multicultural health forum later this year.

She is in the process of completing one of her finale assignments which explores ‘how we as practitioners can prevent self-harming and mental unwellness of youth who are LGBTQ in New Zealand.’ Kat hopes to use her skills and knowledge she has learned from the social work degree and become a police officer.   

Virginia Brooks

Virginia works in health promotion and coordinates the Mental Health Foundation suicide bereavement service. She also contributes to MHF’s work in the area of suicide prevention.

Virginia has lived experience, having lost two close family members to suicide. Through this, she has learnt (a) the value of peer support and (b) postvention is prevention.

With a background in education and counselling, Virginia holds a MA (hons) in Anthropology from Auckland University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching from the Auckland College of Education and an almost completed Postgrad Diploma in Counselling from Auckland University.   

Amanda Christian

Amanda Christian is a trained social worker and Registered Psychologist (Educational & Counselling scopes), of 14 years. She works in private practice as a therapist, mostly with clients bereaved by suicide; is a trainer and facilitator for WAVES by Skylight Bereaved by Suicide psychoeducational groups; and is a Clinical Advisor for Clinical Advisory Services Aotearoa / Community Postvention Response Service (CASA/CPRS).

She is also a member of the Waitemata DHB Suicide Prevention Advisory Group and the Mental Health Foundation Suicide Bereavement Service Advisory Group and is passionate about reducing suicide in the community and assisting clinicians to meet the needs of family / whanau bereaved by suicide.

In working with individuals, groups and community, Amanda draws on her professional experience, current research evidence and best practice guidelines and her lived experience as a mother bereaved by suicide. 

Tala Leiasamaivao

Tala Leiasamaivao works for Victim Support in the role of Suicide Bereavement Specialist.  He manages teams in Auckland, Counties Manukau & Waikato to provide postvention support to those who are bereaved and affected by suicide.

Tala is a former professional rugby player with a background in Housing, Education, Health and Justice & is the regional director for Man Up West Auckland, an organisation working with men that have faced traumatic experiences. This work which includes suicide prevention, focuses on healing the heart of men and giving them a cause.

He has a passion to reduce the suicide rate and after 30 years of working with youth, families, and men he believes this is possible.

Fatu Feu'u

Celebrated senior Pacific-NZ artist Fatu Feu’u ONZM, is patron of the Tautai Pacific Arts Trust, and a man who even at 72, gets fired up by issues that need addressing, including suicide prevention. His large painting Amuia (a blessing) is 5.2 metres long & 2.2m high, and is all about youth suicide in particular.

Feu’u has painted a positive vibrant painting, suggesting through motifs and iconography a pathway forward. He wants to urge parents to focus on communicating more actively with their young people, and especially to convey knowledge of and connection to their past, their ancestors, culture and history, so they have a foundation to move forward strongly into the future. Otherwise – like fish without tails.

In the work, the big capital letter ‘I’ refers to Ifoga, a tradition of reconciliation and rebuilding after terrible things have happened, or in the face of disaster. Two or more parties come together to find a way forward. Other motifs refer to ancestors, our spiritual pathways and pasts, and the creation of new life.

Fatu will be discussing this work, and also presenting smaller works on the same theme, and will be supported by Barbara Speedy, Director of The Diversion Gallery, Marlborough.
Photo supplied by David James

Melissa Heather

Melissa is the Acting Program Manager for the Zero Suicide in Health Care Multi-site collaborative, Suicide Prevention in Health Services Team, Office of the Chief Psychiatrist, Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drugs branch of Queensland Health 

With over 20 years’ experience as a registered Nurse, Melissa commenced her career in the inpatient Mental Health Services at Hutt Valley DHB, moving into the Emergency Departments in both NZ and Australia.  A senior nursing lead in the ED, she has a strong interest in the recognition and management of people in crisis within the emergency setting, and has been a strong advocate for improving mental health service in the ED.

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For further details, please contact:
Faye Johnson at faye@grow.co.nz or
Phone: 06 878 3456