• Sir John Kirwan's Mitey Mental Health Foundation

Land Rover Supports Sir John Kirwan’s Mitey Drive

Land Rover New Zealand is proud to announce its partnership with mental health advocate Sir John Kirwan as he embarks on a journey to help change the face of mental health in Aotearoa.

As part of his charitable initiative, The Mitey Drive, and as the face of mental health in New Zealand for over a decade, Sir John Kirwan will be travelling from Auckland to Invercargill in a Land Rover Defender 90 and speaking at eight open community events to help ensure every Kiwi kid has mental health education.

“We have a hugely ambitious goal to raise $1 million for the future wellbeing of our tamariki. This is an investment in your children, your whānau, and your grandchildren; and together I know we can make a huge difference”

Sir John Kirwan

The Christchurch event will take place on 8th July, 2:45pm, at Whītau School, Linwood.

We’ll be hosting a fundraising auction on the night, with items that can be previewed here.

Sir John Kirwan talks to school children on Mental Health

What is Mitey?

In their own words, Mitey is a fresh approach to teaching mental health as part of the New Zealand curriculum, enabling children to learn about it at school, every day, just like literacy and math.

Mitey was developed over two years by the Sir John Kirwan Foundation with input from highly experienced specialists from the University of Auckland as well as New Zealand educators, teachers and clinicians.

Provided free to New Zealand primary and intermediate schools, Mitey has already positively impacted more than 12,000 New Zealand children across the country.

Land Rover’s Announcement

The milestone drive and ambitious fundraising target have been launched in response to new research that highlights almost two thirds of us (60%) don’t believe we’re doing enough as a country to improve our children’s mental wellbeing.

Sir John Kirwan with school children by a Land Rover Defender

71% of Kiwis think we need to invest in more school-based education, 70% believe we need improved government and healthcare services and 51% think it will take a cultural shift in the New Zealand psyche.

Sir John Kirwan commented: “We have some of the worst mental health statistics in the OECD, with particularly high youth suicide rates, and we believe it will take a generation to change this. Research shows us that if we can teach the ‘ABC of mental health’, consistently, to children when they’re young – they will understand how to manage life’s ups and downs, and they’ll have better empathy for others who may be having a tough time.”

“We have a hugely ambitious goal to raise $1 million for the future wellbeing of our tamaraki. This money will allow us to expand the Mitey programme to 40 schools, positively impacting the lives of more than 11,000 Kiwi kids. This is an investment in your children, your whanau and your grandchildren; and together I know we can make a huge difference.”

Mental Health Drive Venues and Event Dates

To help educate the New Zealand public on a collective mental health approach that starts with our children, Sir John will hold eight community events across July, open to members of the public, school community and mental health advocates to attend. These will be free to join at:

  • Auckland: July 1st
  • Hamilton: July 4th
  • Tauranga: July 5th
  • Napier: July 6th
  • Wellington: July 7th
  • Christchurch: July 8th
  • Dunedin: July 11th
  • Invercargill: July 12th

View more details on the Mitey website.

Sir John Kirwan by a Land Rover Defender

Land Rover’s Support

Land Rover has partnered with Sir John Kirwan on his endeavour, providing him with a Land Rover Defender 90 to complete the estimated 2,100km drive across the country.

Land Rover New Zealand CEO, Steve Kenchington, added: “We want to create an environment that future generations not only survive in, but thrive in, and are proud to support our brand ambassador and good friend Sir John Kirwan with this historic initiative.”

Mitey is a solution for teachers and schools without adding extra pressure to an already crowded curriculum. It has been developed so mental health can be taught as a subject in its own right. Dedicating time to teaching mental health in the classroom will help promote well-being across the entire school and its community, involving staff, tamariki and whånau.

Mitey also assists schools with staff wellbeing, community engagement and policy development to ensure mental health education is embedded across each school’s unique setting.

Sir John Kirwan added: “I’d ask everyone to dig deep and give what they can to support this important cause. I know we can do it, and I know Kiwis will get behind this moment. Together, we can change the course of mental health in this country.”

To find out more about the community events please visit www.themiteydrive.org.nz, and show your support to Sir John Kirwan by texting ‘MITEY’ to 2449 for an instant $3 donation.

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