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Kia ora,
nau mai, haere mai,

Welcome to our resource on supporting rainbow people in Aotearoa’s mental health settings!

Who is this guide for?
This guide is for anyone who provides mental health support in Aotearoa, including (but not limited to) counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, tohunga (Māori healers), social workers, mental health nurses, and GPs. It will also be helpful for youth workers, group facilitators, and peer supporters.

Why do you need this guide?
Wherever you work in mental health, you work with rainbow people. Rainbow people in New Zealand face a range of complex issues, and mental health professionals don’t always receive specific training about their needs and experiences. You already have the skills to provide great support – this guide is designed to give you information to build on and strengthen those skills.

Who developed this guide?
All the information you’ll find here is based on findings from the Rainbow Mental Health Support Experiences Study and the Out Loud Aotearoa Project. Together, these projects involved interviews and surveys with, and submissions from, more than 1600 rainbow people in Aotearoa. To create this resource, researchers from Victoria University of Wellington’s Youth Wellbeing Study teamed up with RainbowYOUTH, InsideOUT, and Gender Minorities Aotearoa. We also refer to other research studies throughout the guide, which are cited on pages 48 and 49.


Ngā mihi
E hara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini. We want to give our sincere thanks to everyone who took part in the research that made this resource possible, and to everyone who gave us feedback to improve the resource. Ngā mihi aroha ki a koutou.

This resource was designed and illustrated by Bo Moore.

Thank you for supporting our kaupapa by reading this guide. We hope you feel more confident supporting Aotearoa’s rainbow people. We plan to update this guide in future years to reflect changes in knowledge and practice.


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With funding support from

Copyright Youth Wellbeing Study, RainbowYOUTH 2019

Citation: Fraser, G. (2019). Supporting Aotearoa’s rainbow people: A practical guide for mental health professionals. Wellington: Youth Wellbeing Study and RainbowYOUTH