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A Healthy Stress Response

Partnership and leadership across sectors is critical in social innovation and systems change. Whanganui, Rangitīkei, Ruapehu is abundant with mobilised leaders and community champions wanting to better understand the conditions for change and how, together, collective action and thinking can drive improved outcomes for communities.

Healthy Families WRR is working with Takitini Hauora (Te Kāhui Ako), the region's Community of Learning (COL) made up of ECE, schools, and tertiary education. The mission of the CoL is anchored in the concept of Hauora - health and wellbeing, and the successful transition and pathways for students and whānau across their learning journey.

Healthy Families WRR and the Co-Leads of Takitini are exploring the role of our regional education sector in growing and nurturing collective wellbeing by addressing the impacts of toxic stress for whānau. Rebecca Davis, Impact Strategist and Lead for Healthy Families Whanganui, Rangitīkei, Ruapehu. "We know that frequent or extreme experiences can cause excessive stress, toxic to the developing brain, and furthermore, overload adults' capacity to engage productively. We think the Whanganui rohe (region) education sector are already getting ahead of the game by leading out a more holistic and collaborative approach to education. This is the perfect opportunity to maximise their energy and leadership."

Today we began designing a potential approach with Co-lead Katherine Ellery, Principal Whanganui Intermediate School. Healthy Families WRR is keen to draw on the expertise of our critical friends who can share their insight into the impact of living with multiple risk factors, the affect on the developing brain and life long health, and how schools can use the child development design principles to improve outcomes for children and families.

"If we can really understand the complexity of the challenges our whānau are experiencing and what this looks like for children in their learning journey, then the collective can create the conditions that help build healthy brains and bodies. We hope to support the design of potential solutions with practitioners and whānau to improve the learning environment." Says Lee-arna Nepia, Healthy Families WRR Systems Innovator

Healthy Families WRR will backbone this initiative with live engagements between whānau, practitioners and experts occurring in Term 2.

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