Shift your mind at the Shift Speaker Series

12 August 2016

The Shift Speaker Series will begin next Wednesday 17 August at the Wellington Boys and Girls Institute (BGI) in Wellington from 4pm–5.30pm.

Shift - ‘shift your body, shift your mind’ - is a project that aims to increase the wellbeing of young Wellington women aged 12-20. Shift has formed out of a partnership between the Wellington City Council and the Boys and Girls Institute, supported by a large number of funders and organisations who share a similar vision to see young women flourish.

“Young women, teachers, parents and those working with young people are invited to participate in an open conversation about youth mental health,” says Wellington City Council Health and Wellbeing Partnership Leader, Fran McEwen. “The session will be guided by three courageous young women - Beth, Abbie and Celia, who are all passionate about improving wellbeing for other young women.”

The Shift Speaker Series aims to bolster the conversation around well-being for young women in Wellington through a publicly-accessible series of speaking events. Put together by the Shift team, the speakers are hand-picked to represent a series of well-being issues including but not limited to mental health, body image, nutrition, movement and the role of technology in our lives.

Shift Co-ordinator Chloe Forbes says: “The speaker series is a fantastic opportunity for young women across Wellington to be participating in discussions about well-being, led by other young women. Shift’s Speaker Series is furthering the conversation through interactive dialogues in a way that is engaging and fun.”

Meet the Speakers

Beth Humphrey a.k.a Your Beth Friend is a youth worker from Auckland at Zeal West. When she is not hanging out with young people she is creating YouTube videos for online video series 'The Great Mental Health Experiment'. Beth examines the many different sources out there seeking to provide ideas on improving mental health and well-being, and uses her video series to report on her experiments. Every Tuesday, Beth trials a new theory and reviews how well it affects her mental health, from Distress Tolerance right through to Pokemon Go - projected out to her large social media following of 13,400 of young people all around New Zealand.

Abbie and Celia are 18-year-old university students who are passionate about promoting mental health awareness and advocating for a wider social understanding of these issues. Last year they released a book titled "When life gives you lemons" — a resource guide for young people dealing with depression and anxiety based on their own experiences and aims to give an insightful view into the complexity and often misunderstood view of mental illness. Both are Wellingtonians.