POD (Point of Difference) was an incubator programme that supported Kiwi youth to create projects to challenge mental illness discrimination.
POD ran a series of workshops that connected young people with experts and mentors in the arts and social change fields, helping make their creative ideas come alive.

Many of the young people who went through the programme have gone on to make a significant impact in their communities. Lucy McSweeney petitioned for compulsory mental health education in New Zealand schools, which was signed by over 10,000 people, and Natalie Lanfear created a YouTube series to help support young people experiencing mental health issues, with over 700 followers.

Sarikha Paikea facilitates youth empowerment workshops around New Zealand called, “My Voice Matters”, teaching young people about identity, citizenship, networking and the Five Ways to Wellbeing. And just eight months after participating in POD, Azeria D’Souza received an award for her short mental health awareness film at the Inspiring Stories Making a Difference national film competition.

POD was developed by the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand in partnership with the Affinity Services Youth Advisory Group and was a Community Partnership Fund project under the Like Minds Like Mine programme.

Read more about what each of the young PODers created by clicking on the stories below.

Contact person

Related stories