“Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.”
~Pauline R. Kezer

We are people who having learned from our own experience of mental illness or addictions now provide services and support to assist others as they seek to improve their quality of life.

We do this purposefully by working from our own lived experience and using the values of our organisation. How we got here is our history arising from support groups that became new organisations and on through our experience of earthquakes and changes of addresses and new people joining us.

Our Values

MHAPS services and support are provided within a framework of values that have been developed by our board, staff and clients. You can read more about what these values represent here:

We value :

  • Empathy
  • Respect
  • Best practice
  • Mutuality
  • Honesty / Transparency
  • Accountability
  • Integrity/ Trust

Our Purpose

We work with a purpose by:

  • Providing a wide variety of peer led and peer informed services from which a person can choose options that feel comfortable to them.
  • Offering information, education and referrals to other services to families/whanau to enable them to better support those close to them who experience mental distress or addictions.
  • Working collaboratively with mental health and addiction service users to provide improved services and support for people who experience mental distress or addictions.
  • Encouraging and supporting people to live well in the presence or absence of their symptoms by facilitating their recovery within their chosen community.

Our Lived Experience

Our personal lived experience as people with our own history of mental health, alcohol or addictions issues give us great insights when working to help others. You can be confident that whatever you bring, someone here has had a similar journey that helps them to relate to you.

We find that our own personal lived experience and our willingness to share it, when that is appropriate, enables us to readily connect with those we are working with.

People feel ‘heard’ and often for the first time. Mutual lived experience helps build relationship and relationships help to make our services and support more accessible.

The knowledge that you are far from being alone in what you experience, and that, in fact, your own journey may have meaning in helping others can help to bring new meaning into your life.

Our People

Everyone who works at MHAPS and many of our Trust Board has lived experience of mental distress, mental illness and/or substance addictions and of recovery.

Our staff members have a wealth of knowledge, life experience and empathy, all of which supports their work. We have in our own way travelled a similar journey as our peer clients and so can offer a mutual experience and empathy to those who may be struggling with their own distress.

Our work with people can range from anxiety, depression, bipolar and addiction, to struggles as a sole parent with mental health issues, leaving inpatient or residential care, stigma and discrimination issues, particularly in employment, and many other areas of distress and fear.


Our Board of Trustees