The Project

The Te Tai Tokerau Tamariki Mental Wellbeing Project will tackle the rise in children's mental illness by providing an Emotional Regulation program, called Think and Be Me, to 60 schools across Te Tai Tokerau (Northland, NZ) during 2023-2024.

The Think and Be Me program, was founded by children's mental wellbeing educator, Cat Levine, alongside a team of experts, and is designed to support the long term emotional wellbeing of tamariki (children).

Informed by research, the program is underpinned by Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy principles to bring proven mental wellbeing coping skills out of the counselling rooms, and into the classroom. 

Using a strengths-based approach, students are equipped with the knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes to manage their emotions in healthy ways, and develop resilience and coping skills.

The project is funded by Rotary International through a Global Grant.

The Need

Helping Te Tai Tokerau Tamariki Think and Be Healthy for Good

NZ suicide statistics are amongst the worst in the world, with Te Tai Tokerau (Northland) youth lives deemed higher risk. This project is a 'preventative measure' response to the urgent need to improve the mental health and wellbeing of our tamariki, especially in the wake of Covid. Studies show that the prevalence of mental illness in 11-year-olds is almost 20%, rising to over 35% by the time children reach adulthood at 18 years. The Te Tai Tokerau Tamariki Mental Wellbeing Project will address this need by providing early intervention education.

"There is an epidemic of mental illness in (rural) Northland" Dr. Lance O'Sullivan

  • School Presentations

    Each school will receive three fun, engaging presentations at their school delivered by Cat and her mascots, Worry Watchdog and Cool Cat, which will kick start the program and the use of the digital and physical resources.

  • Teacher Training

    Teachers will receive a series of Professional Learning & Development Workshops, all of which are designed to give teachers the practical tools to support their students' emotional wellbeing.

  • Digital and Physical Resources

    All schools and tamariki will have access to the Think and Be Me video series, teaching resources and physical materials.

Funded by Rotary International Global Grant

With contributions from clubs and other districts from around the world, including Korea, Australia and Norfolk Island. These Rotarians and private donors have embraced the the opportunity to make a positive, life-changing difference to the lives of children who have been statistically disadvantaged throughout Aotearoa's recent history. The program has been fully funded by Rotary and Feelings for Life Charitable Trust, which will reach 60 schools, 450 teachers, and approximately 9,000 children.

This program equips teachers with the knowledge and resources to help children learn the emotional skills they'll need for a life of wellbeing.

Helping Tamariki To Learn Skills Like

Managing Emotions

Overcoming Anxiety

Managing Anger

Building Resilience