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World of Difference is a new service user research group, established in the Department of Psychological Medicine at the University of Otago, Wellington.

World of Difference - He Ao Whakatoihara kore - End discrimination - Promote recovery, inclusion, and respect for human rights. With the support of funding from the Health Promotion Agency as part of Like Minds, Like Mine, our group has developed breakthrough education and research programmes focused on:

  • Ending discrimination, and
  • Promoting recovery, inclusion, and respect

…for the human rights of people who experience mental distress, led and delivered by experts with personal experience.

These programmes involve us working with two groups:

  • The Police
  • Healthcare providers

By targeting police recruits and medical students / trainee psychiatrists, the new programmes aim to shift attitudes and effect sustainable, inclusive behaviours of these future professionals.

The programmes have been developed based on the recently published World Health Organization Quality Rights Initiative training tools, and the latest evidence-based literature pertaining to countering service provider prejudice and discrimination in these contexts.

The programmes are being comprehensively evaluated in terms of short- and long-term attitude and behaviour change.

We have four members in our service user research group:

“We live in a world where we are treated differently – disabled by prejudice, discrimination and social exclusion in response to our experiences of mental distress. Our ultimate goal is to contribute to creating a different world – one where our experiences of mental distress are recognised and respected as an element of natural human difference and diversity, and are no barrier to us being able to experience recovery, inclusion, and to exercise our human rights on an equal basis with all others: a World of Difference that will make the World of Difference to those of us who experience mental distress.” — Dr Sarah Gordon

World of Difference newsletters

Healthcare Providers Education Newsletters

Police Education Newsletters

Healthcare Providers/Police Education Newsletters

Email jeremy.tumoana@otago.ac.nz if you would like to be included on the mailing list to receive these newsletters directly.

Email sarah.e.gordon@otago.ac.nz if you would like further information about our World of Difference programmes.