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MHERC's workshops are delivered by specialists in their fields

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.

Katie Hoek

MA (Psychology), PgDip (Child and Family Psychology)

Katie is a Child and Family Psychologist with over 8 years experience in working with children, young people, and their families in the areas of mental health, neurodevelopmental disorders, learning needs, and childhood trauma. Katie's particular area of passion and interest focuses around providing trauma informed care for children and young people who have experienced chronic relational and developmental trauma.

Lee Tuki (Tutuki Te Wharau)


Lee descends from Tainui waka, Ngāti Maru, Raukawa and Maniapoto iwi. She has over 25 years’ experience in health/Māori sectors. Her work experiences include Kaiwhakahaere for Te Tai o Poutini COVID Hub, Kaimātai Mahi Māori, Workforce Development Partner – Mana Taurite (Equity, Inclusion and Diversity), Recruitment and People Partnering CDHB/WCDHB, Staff Wellbeing Coordinator CDHB/WCDHB, Team Leader, Inaugural team member of the Health in All Policies team at CPH/CDHB Communities Team, He Oranga Poutama Kaiwhakahaere for Ngāi Tahu and President of the Public Health Association of New Zealand.  Her education portfolio includes lecturing the Bachelor of Applied Science Degree, Health Promotion 500/600 and disabilities papers at Ara, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Māori Models of Health, Understanding Māori Models of Health, Flourishing Teams.  She has worked in an advisory role on how to engage with Māori, embedding values and Te Tiriti o Waitangi into strategic direction/implementation plans, processes and procedures both nationally and regionally.  Most recently Lee has added to her consultancy portfolio Professional / Cultural Supervision for individuals and groups. 

Mel Johns

MASW, B.A. (Hons), Cert. Supervision, Cert. AOD Counselling, RSW

Mel has over 20 years’ experience working in the mental health and addictions sector in Aotearoa New Zealand and the UK. Throughout his career, he has held a number of diverse roles, working alongside a broad client base within both statutory and NGO services. He possesses clinical practice, leadership, teaching, management, supervision and governance experience. Mel has a comprehensive knowledge of assessment processes, therapeutic interventions and risk-management approaches. He demonstrates a relentless commitment to the principles of social justice, along with a strong passion for developing services that are truly recovery focused. Mel has been a workshop facilitator with MHERC for several years, whilst maintaining his clinical, supervisory and project management roles.

Nikki Coleman


Nikki is a registered social worker and cognitive behaviour therapist with 18 years’ experience in the area of youth mental health, and has worked at Youth Specialty Services in Auckland and Christchurch. She currently has a private practice helping children, youth, their families and adults develop skills to reduce anxiety, depression, self-esteem, eating, anger and many other problem areas in their life with a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy model of intervention. Additionally Nikki is a clinical advisor with Clinical Advisory Services Aotearoa providing consultation to Child, Youth and Family and communities in the area of suicide prevention and postvention.

Paula Rountree

Cert.ComPsC, NZDipBus

Employed by the Mental Health Education and Resource Centre since 1998, Paula also has over 20 years’ experience working as a community support worker in the field of intellectual disability. She has lived experience of an anxiety disorder and has had 12 years’ experience in a voluntary coordination role for an anxiety-related peer support organisation. Paula has been involved in facilitating Anxiety Disorder workshops for MHERC, community organisations and tertiary institutes for a number of years. With a love for learning, Paula enjoys attending relevant conferences and workshops on anxiety disorders when the opportunities arise.

Ruth Troughton

NZRP, Dip Phyty (Otago), BA (Mus) (UC), Certified Lifestyle Medicine Practitioner (ASLM)

Ruth is an experienced Physiotherapist, Leader, Innovator, Supervisor and Educator. She has worked as a Physiotherapist in a range of different clinical areas (such as Older Persons Health, disability, musculoskeletal), with more than half her experience based in Mental Health. In her role as the Clinical Leader Physiotherapy, Specialist Mental Health Services, CDHB (2014-2020) she provided leadership in promoting awareness of neurobiological perspectives, including the integral role of physical health, trauma informed care, wellbeing, and lifestyle practices for mental health.

Samantha Williams

BSc (Hons) Psychology, MSc Professional and Policy Studies, Dip HE (RN) Mental Health

The early part of Samantha’s career was spent in the South of England working in mental health acute inpatients, ICU and community teams after graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 1994 with BSc (Hons) Psychology and then in 1997 with MSc Professional and Policy Studies and Dip HE (RN) Mental Health. Moving to Christchurch in 2003, Samantha initially worked in acute inpatients then joined CADS setting up the AOD Central Co-ordination Service. As well as working as a private contractor in Primary Care and Canterbury Prisons, she continues to work on various AOD projects.

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