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  • Taylor-Rose Terekia

Mental health platform that supports Te reo Māori now free for students

Image: Student Job Search

Confronting youth suicide with free, culturally competent care: Student Job Search partners with online mental health platform, Clearhead

New Zealand has the highest youth (15 – 24) suicide rates in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and according to the Ministry of Health, Māori youth are at far greater risk of suicide than non-Māori.

With Waitangi Day just passed, Student Job Search (SJS) has partnered with Clearhead - the only mental health platform where users can converse in te reo Māori – to deliver free, culturally competent mental health support and guidance to SJS’s 60,000 strong student community.

“SJS recognises that good mental health is key to students thriving in meaningful employment, and having the support required to map future career goals and pathways to success,” says SJS Chief Executive, Suzanne Boyd.

SJS Chief Executive, Suzanne Boyd.

“With deep connections to the student community, including strong ties to Māori student representative groups, SJS is well aware that mental health issues can be a major barrier to students performing well in their studies, securing meaningful job opportunities, and living more fulfilling lives,” says Ms. Boyd.

“That’s why I’m extremely proud of this partnership with Clearhead – students deserve access to high quality, culturally cognisant mental health guidance and Clearhead delivers this.”

Through the partnership, Clearhead will provide free access to tertiary students when they sign up using their tertiary institution email address. Clearhead’s platform uses a wellbeing assistant to guide users through a personalised wellbeing plan with short lessons and interactive resources to build self-awareness and mental resilience.

“Developed by multiple clinicians, including a Māori psychologist, Clearhead is available in te reo Māori as well as English, and provides culturally appropriate resources which consider the Māori worldview and tikanga Māori,” says Clearhead Chief Executive, Dr. Angela Lim.

Clearhead Chief Executive, Dr. Angela Lim.

Having worked as a medical doctor for several years, Clearhead CE Angela Lim says she developed the online platform because she felt that NZ’s mental health system wasn’t working for young people, let alone account for unique cultural differences.

“Clearhead is committed to tackling the cultural barriers some students may face when accessing mental health services, which have led to inequitable mental health outcomes prevalent today,” Lim says.

“Last month, SJS worked with Clearhead to deliver tips and advice for students to nurture their mental health in 2021, and over the next two months we’ll be delivering more of this support and guidance, with an emphasis on Māori student wellbeing,” Ms Boyd says.

“I’m excited to be able to connect our huge pool of talented students to free mental health support and resources, to enable them to thrive in 2021 and beyond.”




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