People like you

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Debbie Siau

Debbie Siau crop

When Debbie Siau was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder, she thought her fiancé would leave her and her chance at living a meaningful life was over. Read more…

Magdel Hammond

Magdel Hammond LMLM 2014

Moving to Aotearoa was like shifting to “absolute paradise” for Magdel Hammond. When the 51-year-old left Namibia with her husband and two children, she never expected to find such a difference in the treatment of people with mental illness. Read more…

Gareth Edwards

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Gareth Edwards is mad. That’s the term he uses to describe himself in his songs – and he knows more than a thing or two about the experience. Read more…

Jo Ashcroft

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To those who don’t know her, Jo Ashcroft is the “bipolar lady” of Titirangi, Auckland. It’s a label she doesn’t mind owning, in fact it’s one she wears with pride. Read more…

Deborah Romero

Deborah Romero 2014

When Deborah Romero participated in a Like Minds workshop in Waihi and shared her personal story with participants, her audience was blown away by her courage in coming forward. Read more…

James King

James King 2014 crop

After living with depression for more than a decade, James King is back where he wants to be, in a job he feels he was born to perform. Read more…

Makiroa Maropai

Makiroa Maropai LMLM2011

My name is Makiroa Maropai (Ngāpuhi nui tonu and Rarotongan). You might have seen me in one of the latest Like Minds, Like Mine advertisements – from the “Be There, Stay Involved” campaign. Read more…

Steve Gurney

Steve Gurney LMLM2011

Steve Gurney is New Zealand’s ultimate multi-sport and triathlon athlete. He’s known for winning the Coast-to-Coast race an astounding nine times, and competing in the Southern Traverse, the Raid Gauloises, Eco-Challenge and Extreme Games. Read more…

Claire Anderson

Claire Anderson 2 LMLM2011

Triumph over difficult circumstances is the crux of a compelling story and Claire Anderson’s book, One Step at a Time, grabs the reader as she describes some traumatic events of her life including a sexual assault, her experience of depression and achieving her ultimate goal of becoming an Ironman. Read more…

Tony Harrison

Tony Harrison LMLM2011

Both Tony Harrison’s parents passed away when he was a teenager and at just 22 he was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. Read more…

Rob Callaghan

Rob Callaghan LMLM2011

Comedian Rob Callaghan has turned his experience of bipolar disorder into material for his stand-up routine. Rob performed at the Like Minds National Seminar in 2011 and had the audience in fits of laughter and also a few tears with his hilarious and brutally honest account of his experiences. Read more…

Ange Sampson

Ange Sampson LMLM2011

Ange Sampson is a woman on a mission. She’s determined to link New Zealand youth with experience of mental illness in the best way she knows how – through positive action. Read more…

Johnny Angel

Johnny Angel LMLM2011

Johnny Angel is an artist, a musician, a published author and one of the stars featured in the Like Minds, Like Mine TV ads. Read more…

Jana Lucas

Jana Lucas LMLM 2011

Jana Lucas first started showing symptoms of bipolar when she was 17, living in Bristol. Read more…

Te Ariki

Te Ariki LMLM 2012 cropped

As the warm sunlight streams in through the window behind Te Ariki, he closes his eyes, using all of his senses before sharing his next thought. Each sentence he speaks takes us on a journey, his words are thought provoking and the story of his life is raw with emotion. Read more…

Georgie Tutt

Georgie Tutt LMLM2011

Georgie Tutt describes herself as a happy-go-lucky sort of person, who sees the good in people. Read more…

Shane and Joanne

Shane and Joanna LMLM 2012

Everyone except their doctor said it couldn’t work, two people with bipolar living together. As far as friends and family were concerned, Shane Egen and Joanne Lind-Egen were a bad mix. Read more…

Johnny Matteson

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After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 19, singer and songwriter Johnny Matteson says music has given him an identity. “I am Johnny the musician.” Read more…

Sam RB

Sam RB LMLM 2012 cropped

Sam RB started composing songs when she was just a kid. Read more…

Roy Brown

Roy Brown cropped

Roy’s journey through the mental health system started in 1986 when, in a manic state, he stripped naked and climbed the outside of the Royal Albert Hall in London. Read more…

Susie Crooks

Susie Crooks LMLM 2012

Susie Crooks was a self-confessed workaholic with her own fashion design label in the Hawkes Bay when her world came crashing down around her. Read more…

Tamihana Paurini

Tamihana Paurini LMLM 2012 cropped

When Kapiti dancer Tamihana Paurini experienced depression, he would not accept stigma and discrimination from people to whom he told his story. Instead he struggled with self-stigma. Read more…

Vesna Aroha Radonich

Vesna Aroha Radonich LMLM 2

Thirty-six-year-old personal fitness trainer Vesna Aroha Radonich is an inspiration to many different people. Read more…

Andrew Serjeant

LMLM Andrew Serjeant 2012

Some people spend all their spare cash on vices. Artist Andrew Serjeant prefers to spend it on advertising his extraordinary art. Read more…

Kathy Stewart

Kathy Stewart LMLM 2012

On a morning in 1979, when Kathy Stewart’s eldest son, David, and his sister, Ronnie, were walking to school, he was hit by a car and was killed instantly. Read more…

Guy Baker

Guy Baker LMLM 2012 crop

Many people find mental illness difficult to acknowledge to themselves and their families. In Guy Baker’s case it felt even more difficult because, as one of the eldest in his generation on both sides of his family, his family relied on him for advice, so he wasn’t used to asking for help for himself. Read more…

Robyn Yousef

Robyn Yousef LMLM 2013

After years of mulling over an idea, Robyn Yousef finally decided to seize the day and take a step into the unknown. In 2013, the Auckland-based freelance writer wrote an opinion piece for the New Zealand Herald about living with bipolar disorder. Read more…

Darcey Jane

Darcey Jane LMLM 2013

As a child, I was eager and curious about the world and my place in it. I was sensitive to my environment. Sometimes it was harsh; we moved often, from air force base to air force base. I seemed to handle it, making friends easily enough. But inside, I was sad and unhappy. Read more…

Sonia Gray

Sonia Gray LMLM 2013

With twin four-year-olds and a busy work schedule to contend with, Lotto presenter Sonia Gray is usually more suited to calming disputes than creating them. Read more…

Lance Elliott

Lance Elliot LMLM 2013

I was 25 years old when I was first diagnosed with schizophrenia. The first time I went to hospital was hell. Read more…

Richard Towgood

Richard Towgood LMLM 2013

Richard Towgood from Tapu on the Coromandel is not one to ignore an opportunity. He was walking past the Hauraki Herald demolition site in Thames and saw a job in the making. Read more…

Natalie Roche

Natalie Roche LMLM 2013

A series of traumatic life events brought Natalie Roche to “rock bottom” in her teenage years, but she hasn’t stayed there. Read more…

Chris McMurray

Chris McMurray LMLM 2013

Rapper and performance poet Chris McMurray is drawing on his personal experiences to help challenge the stigma around mental illness. Read more…

Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson LMLM 2013

Like many 32-year-olds, Richard Anderson lives a pretty action-packed life. He's studying full-time for a creative writing graduate diploma at Whitireia Polytechnic. Read more…

Maria Hogan*

Maria Hogan boxing LMLM2011

My name is Maria*. In November 2003, I was diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder. Seven years ago, if you told me I was sick I would not have believed you. I would of made every excuse under the sun for my topsy-turvy lifestyle. I would have run away… Read more…

Noeline Kuru

noeline kuru

Noeline Kuru began to experience anxiety and depression following a horrific birth that nearly killed her, and her son. Read more…

Aubrey Quinn

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The year was 1999, and Aubrey Quinn was facing a task that terrified him. He was shaking and sweating with anxiety. His heart raced. His mouth was dry. Read more…

Colin Slade

colin slade

Colin Slade works as an independent consultant in the mental health sector with a background of nearly 10 years as a consumer advisor and as peer advocacy manager. Read more…

Lila Baker

lila baker

Lila Baker has more than 20 years' experience of living with mental illness. She was first diagnosed with severe depression in the early 1990s. Read more…

Helena Hutchinson

helen hutchinson

Helena lives on the Kapiti coast with her partner and four children (aged 11 to 27). Her partner has a five-year-old who also spends some time with them. Read more…

Joyce Leevard

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Joyce Leevard lives in Auckland and has worked part-time for The Werry Centre as a National Youth Consumer Advisor and is also on the Like Minds, Like Mine Youth Advisory Group. She was first diagnosed with depression in 2005 when she was still at high school. Read more…

Damian Blake

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When I was nine I remember my father saying to me he may not be living with us much longer and I said “Why is that?” He said “Your mother and I disagree on things, she thinks that gay men are nice.” Read more…

Stephen Denekamp

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It was when I was alone at night in my room. I would sleep on the floor because I felt I didn’t deserve to sleep in the bed. I would cry myself to sleep, I didn’t want anyone else to see that side of me. Read more…

Tracee Te Moananui

LMLM old Tracee and Gordy

In 2003, at the age of 37 and after a lifetime with no experience of mental illness Tracee Te Moananui became unwell. Read more…