Philanthropic organisations provide a substantial and welcomed portion of funding of CMM programmes.

As such, CMM would like to recognise the significant support provided by the Tindall Foundation over the years, without which one major CMM programme would not be run.

Since early 2019, the foundation has funded a three-year CMM child mental health programme, offered to address distress and behavioural issues as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes.

Confident Children, Flourishing Families has worked with about 250 tamariki and parents in a combination of individual or group work to tackle anxiety and emotional distress. It begins with a social worker or child and family psychologist who assesses the needs of the child, their parents and wider whānau. They then draw up a plan of individual or group work tailored to the needs of the whānau. CMM’s Wise-Up children’s programme is one such tool, helping children deal with feelings and emotions. Parents often take part in CMM’s Building Awesome Whānau programme, Parent Works, and Wise-Up parent groups and workshops, which support them in their parenting journey.

True to its name, the programme has produced confident children and flourishing families. Tamariki say that to varying degrees, they are less anxious and are more able to cope with their emotions. Parents feel better equipped in their role and able to support their tamariki.

The programme addresses a clear and significant need. Much of the work with tamariki and whānau is complex and requires long periods of commitment by both parents and CMM staff. Mental health issues in Canterbury pose one of the region’s most significant challenges, particularly among young people. In 2018, the Government recognised the unique mental health needs of tamariki by setting up a dedicated school-based mental health and wellbeing service.

A range of agencies, schools and individuals refer children to Confident Children, Flourishing Families, an indication of the quality and calibre of the programme.

Although the fund was set up to address anxiety in the wake of the Canterbury earthquakes, the focus has now shifted. A number of factors contribute to increased anxiety in children and adults. Stress that was compounded by ongoing trauma of the earthquakes now includes the mosque shootings and the Covid19 lockdown.

Funding for the programme ends in January, although the need remains great. Little affordable support is available for parents, with demand far outstripping supply. Continued financial support is crucial to be able to continue this work.

The Tindall Foundation is a private philanthropic family foundation, which gives donations and support to charitable organisations to help build a stronger Aotearoa New Zealand. The Tindall Foundation also funds the work of CMM and Methodist missions elsewhere in the country through the Methodist Alliance.

If you would like to support Confident Children, Flourishing Families, please do so at https://www.mmsi.org.nz/donate, and select “Supporting children and families in need”.