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MHERC's workshops are delivered by specialists in their fields

Alan Fayter

Neuro-Semantic NLP Master Trainer ISNS, Coach IANLP, Fellow Member Trainer IANLP, Licensed Meta-Coach (ACMC)

Alan is a Master Trainer specialising in the Neuro-Semantic Self-Actualisation Trainings, based on self-actualisation psychology. He trained under the tutelage of psychologist Dr L. Michael Hall PhD, the developer of Neuro-Semantics. He has a Doctorate in Clinical Hypnotherapy (Distinction) and runs a private therapy and coaching practice in Christchurch. In 2015 Alan published his first book; "How To Chill Out", a book on stress management and communication techniques based on coaching and training he developed after the Christchurch earthquakes.

Annette Beautrais, Dr


Annette is New Zealand's most experienced suicidologist, an academic who has been studying suicide research and prevention, and teaching about suicide prevention, for the past 27 years. She has worked in New Zealand and internationally, has published extensively and has won international awards for her research. Annette is Adjunct Professor at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, and Suicide Prevention Coordinator at the South Canterbury DHB. In addition, she works as an educator and consultant to a range of organisations, and runs training programmes in suicide prevention throughout the country. Annette has worked with the World Health Organisation and served on the board of the International Association for Suicide Prevention.

Brian Deavoll, Dr


Brian is a Consultant Psychiatrist of Old Age with Te Whatu Ora - Waitaha (formerly CDHB). He is currently a consultant psychiatrist in the Older Person Mental Health Service, Te Whatu Ora - Waitaha working part-time in the Community Team based at The Princess Margaret Hospital and part-time in ward BG Burwood Hospital. He has a long history of service provision, leadership and involvement with training in the mental health sector in Christchurch.

Catherine Gallagher

Registered Clinical Psychologist, MNZCCP, MA(Hons)

Catherine has worked in both public and private work settings, primarily focused on child and family issues. Currently she has a small private practice and is also the clinical practice manager at START.

Chris Taua, Dr

PhD, RN, BN, MN(Distinction), PGC(MH), CAdTch, FNZCMHN

Chris is a registered nurse by profession with a background in mental health. She has over 25 years experience in health/disability sectors. Her education portfolio includes mental health, disability, ethics and boundaries, communication and de-escalation, collaborative note writing, and culturally safe practice. Her PhD explored the mental health inpatient experiences of people with intellectual disability and she continues to publish on this and other topics including cultural diversity/cultural safety. She is currently Director and primary Consultant for ‘Pumahara Consultants, Personal and Professional Development Specialists’ and holds an Honorary Senior Lecturer role with The University of Queensland as well as other teaching roles with Universities around New Zealand and Australia.

Denise Huisman

MSW(App), BAPsych, RSW

Denise currently works with Christchurch Resettlement Services with valuable experience working with migrant background people. A registered Social Worker for 13 years with CRS, she has recently taken up the role of their Health Promotion Team Leader. Her focus is on education and programmes which encourage the recovery and maintenance of their client’s wellbeing.


Di Sargent

Masters of Hlth Sci., PG Dip. Addiction, PG Dip. Social Work, PG Dip. Management, B.A. Psych

Di is passionate about working with people to support hauora/wellbeing and health, and also teaching and mentoring people for their professional development and growth. She has been working in the mental health and addictions sector for 27 years as a social worker/counsellor. Di was the clinical manager of Stepping Stone Trust (mental health NGO) for 13 years and is in her sixth year at the Bridge addiction service in Christchurch. Di loves learning and is qualified with a Masters of Mental Health, Post Graduate Diploma in Addiction, Post Graduate Diploma in Social Work, Post Graduate Diploma in Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

Jackie Moore

RegSW, BSW, Post Grad Dip Mgmt, MBA

Jacqueline (Jackie) Moore has been an active member of the mental health and addiction sector since 2001 and held the co-chair role at Navigate Waitaha (Canterbury Mental Health and Addiction NGO Leadership Group) for four years. Her experience across a range of roles and organisations provides insight into mental health service delivery, strategic health direction and organisational development.

Jess Caldwell

MSc(Hons), BSc(Psych), PGDip. Child&Family Psych

Jess is an experienced child and family psychologist working with children, young people, and their families in community mental health settings. Currently working for Child, Adolescent and Family Community Services at Te Whatu Ora – Waitaha (formerly CDHB), she is skilled in supporting children and adolescents across a range of difficulties including helping adolescents with chronic suicidal and self-harm behaviour.

Julia Rucklidge, Professor

BSc, MSc, PhD

Julia is a Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Canterbury and the Director of the Mental Health and Nutrition Research Lab. Originally from Toronto, Canada, she completed her PhD at the University of Calgary in clinical psychology followed by a two year post-doctoral Fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. In 2000, she immigrated to New Zealand. Her interests in nutrition and mental illness grew out of research showing poor outcomes for individuals with significant psychiatric illness despite receiving conventional treatments for their conditions. In the last decade, she and her lab have been running clinical trials investigating the role of broad-spectrum micronutrients in the treatment of mental illness, specifically ADHD, mood disorders, anxiety and stress. Julia has over 100 peer-reviewed publications, including the Lancet Psychiatry, British Journal of Psychiatry, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, PLoS One, and Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. She has given invited talks all over the world on her work on nutrition and mental health and is frequently featured in the media on her work. She is currently on the Executive Committee for the International Society of Nutritional Psychiatry Research. She has been the recipient of many awards, including the Ballin Award from the NZ Psychologist Society, an award that recognises notably significant contributions to the development or enhancement of clinical psychology in Aotearoa New Zealand, a Braveheart award for her contribution to making Christchurch a better place to live, and was named in the top 100 Most Influential Women in New Zealand in 2018. Her 2014 TEDx talk has almost been viewed 1.5 million times. Having witnessed current conventional treatments failing so many people, Julia is passionate about helping people find alternative treatments for their psychiatric symptoms and being a voice for those who have been let down by the current public healthcare system.

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