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World of Difference

He Ao Whakatoihara kore

World of Difference is a service user research group

World of Difference - He Ao Whakatoihara kore - End discrimination - Promote recovery, inclusion, and respect for human rights.

In 2011 the Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago Wellington committed to reform of their psychological medicine education.  Led by service user academic Dr Sarah Gordon, this reform involved the progressive development and implementation of a comprehensive service user-led and contact based programme to end discrimination, promote recovery, social inclusion and respect for human rights.  This programme starts in undergraduate medical student education and extends to all levels of psychiatric registrar education.

Fully led and delivered by those with lived experience, World of Difference aims to contribute to creating a different world – one where experiences of mental distress are recognised and respected as an element of natural human difference and diversity, and are not a barrier to being able to experience recovery, inclusion, and to exercise human rights on an equal basis with all others

The World of Difference programme is now embedded into the Psychological Medicine curriculum at the University of Otago Wellington, and is currently being piloted with undergraduate medical students at the University of Otago Dunedin. Our team has worked extensively with the New Zealand Police, as well as collaborating with other tertiary institutions across Aotearoa.

World of Difference is recognized both nationally and internationally for its groundbreaking work in promoting recovery and combatting discrimination towards those who experience mental distress.

World of Difference members

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 tracey.gardiner@otago.ac.nz to join the newsletter mailing list

Email sarah.e.gordon@otago.ac.nz for further information about our World of Difference programmes.

World of Difference news

World of Difference gains Australasian award
The MHS award

Making a world of difference
Woman of Influence nominee

Our academic building is temporarily closed for seismic reasons but our top class teaching, studying and research programmes remain in full swing.

Keep an eye on our website for updates or connect with us on: Twitter @OtagoWellington