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Mike McRoberts joins the Māia mission

One of New Zealand’s favourite news anchors and Cantabrian-at-heart Mike McRoberts has joined Māia Health Foundation’s campaign to raise $6-million dollars for a new child and youth mental health outpatient facility in Christchurch.

Mike has been a quiet supporter of Māia for a number of years and has  been appointed as an ambassador for the charity.

It’s a position Mike is honoured to hold, as he says it enables him to connect with his hometown while supporting the region’s youth.

“I’ve been impressed by what Māia’s achieved for Canterbury but it’s their latest project focusing on child and youth mental health that made me want to step up and do more,” says Mike.

Since its inception five years ago Māia Health Foundation has raised more than $13 million for game-changing projects within Canterbury’s health system. Māia’s latest major mission is to create a modern, fit-for-purpose outpatient facility for child and youth mental health in Canterbury. It will replace the current old, outdated facilities at The Princess Margaret Hospital and Hillmorton campus.

Mike says he’s seen the current mental health outpatient facilities and he finds it incredible that staff achieve the results they do.

“The current facilities are unacceptable – it’s a rundown, drab and depressing space that doesn’t inspire anyone to feel well. They need to change.

“I’m acutely aware of the challenges our youth face today. The young people having mental health troubles today will be the leaders of tomorrow, they just need a bit of a hand. I have first-hand experience of that myself as a dad and the most important thing we can do at this stage of their lives is to be there for them, supporting them in a nurturing way.

“I’m really proud of what Māia is doing to raise the standard of mental health facilities in Canterbury. If we can get this right, the whole country will benefit from the positive spin-offs it will create. Joining Māia’s mission for child and youth mental health should be on everyone’s must-do list,” says Mike.

Canterbury has experienced a 140% increase in demand for its child, adolescent and family mental health services since January 2018. The new outpatient facility for youth mental health, being developed by Māia in partnership with the Canterbury District Health Board, will better support those young people and their whānau by enabling individualised treatments, providing specialist spaces designed for modern-day treatment methods and utilising technologies that will give the service greater reach.

Māia Health Foundation Chief Executive Michael Flatman says it’s an honour to have Mike on board to support the work of the Foundation.

“Mike’s mana and lived experiences professionally and personally add enormous weight to Māia’s mahi. We know his passion for the region runs deep and his yearning to support our young people comes from a place of real authenticity and heart. We’re excited about working with him and are so grateful he’s joining our mission of taking Canterbury’s health services from good to great,” says Michael.

Mike McRoberts grew up in Christchurch. The city was the launchpad for his career as he attended the New Zealand Broadcasting School at what is now Ara Institute of Canterbury.

“While I’ve lived in Auckland for 25 years my connections to Christchurch are strong. My family is still there so I am passionate about doing whatever I can to support the lives of Cantabrians. And I know that I’m coming back at some stage – surely!” says Mike.

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