In the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes, there was a great need for services providing support for trauma, stress and mental health. In particular, the events highlighted a gap in mental health support services for the young people of our city.
A group of non-government organisation (NGO) services began meeting with the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) to canvas needs for youth mental health services in Canterbury. This led to the formation of a cross-agency initiative between CAF Services, Odyssey House (Christchurch) and Stepping Stone Trust and an integrated service model was developed that would be mobile and available in a range of youth venues. Community Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS) began operating in 2012 and shortly after this, Purapura Whetu came on board providing a kaupapa Māori perspective.
In 2020, a shift in focus from mental illness to wellbeing inspired a new service, Manu Ka Rere, which replaced CYMHS in 2021. Manu Ka Rere offers support to a wider age range of 13-24 (previously limited to 13-18) and provides more services and practitioners than previously available.
The name 'Manu Ka Rere' is taken from a whakatauki:
"Ma te huruhuru ka rere te manu"
"Adorned with feathers, the bird is able to fly"
This whakatauki is a popular metaphor for young people being properly prepared and supported to take on the responsibilities of adulthood. The offering speaks to both the young person and to those who are in supportive roles, including whānau, kaimahi and the wider community. It encourages us to consider our shared responsibility, promoting interdependent relationships and shared success.
The Kahu (Harrier Hawk), represents the potential of our rangatahi, whānau and community, whom our service aims to imbue with the feathers they need to fly.
The 4 strokes symbolise Nga Hau E Wha, the four winds. Nga Hau E Wha is symbolic of the various NGO's from across Canterbury coming together to deliver Manu Ka Rere.
The chosen colour is likened to Kokowai, a pigment used by Māori to create rock art. Here it inspires the passing forward of generational knowledge and wellbeing.
The hand-painted strokes of the graphic represent the fresh approach of Manu Ka Rere's services and evoke a sense of opportunity and motion.