Balance NZ was founded in 1996 by consumers to help members who have experienced mood disorders (bipolar disorder and depression) to cope positively with their condition.
The Vision has expanded in the ensuing years:
To see people in New Zealand affected by mental health issues (including bipolar disorder and depression):
1. Able to get professional support, education, advocacy and training from their peers
2. Trained to form a significant part of the paid workforce supporting the recovery and maintenance of the health of their peers
3. Able to access effective information, treatment options and support that will prevent or minimise suicide and suicide attempts, and also enhance their quality of life.
The Mission of Balance NZ is to promote the well-being of those affected by mental health issues
We do this by:
• Acknowledging Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document which embodies the principles and rights for Tangata Whenua Maori and Pakeha living and working together in Aotearoa New Zealand;
• Building and maintaining networks
• Providing information, education, support, training, advocacy and research
• Actively collaborating with other organisations and initiatives nationally and internationally
People affected by mental health issues includes anyone who identifies as having lived experience of mental health issues or mental distress.
The aims of the Trust Deed are to:
a) Educate the general public about mental health issues and well-being and assist those affected by mental health issues
b) Liaise with Trusts and Societies having similar aims, throughout New Zealand and overseas
c) Co-ordinate and support the activities of such Trusts and Societies within New Zealand
d) Provide a range of services to Trusts, Societies and other Organisations who are concerned with peer support and well-being for people who live with mental health issues and their families
e) Provide services with a particular focus upon the range of mental health problems known as mood disorders.
Services we provide include:
• Education for people affected by bipolar disorder and depression.
• Helping people develop personalised self-care plans.
• Training peers (tangata whaiora) in mutual support skills with an emphasis on wellbeing.
• Advocating at a national level for more effective services and support for people who are affected by mood disorders and other mental health issues.
• Research on bipolar disorder and depression and dissemination of findings.
• Research on self care and peer support and dissemination of findings.
• Research that supports the activities of Balance NZ.
• Provision of services that support online communities.