down on the farm

Over the past decade we have been proud to award journalists with grants to help them tell stories that reduce stigma and discrimination for people living with mental distress.

These grants are made possible thanks to funding from the Frozen Funds Charitable Trust and the Health Promotion Agency.

Below are a list of journalism grant recipients and their projects.

Jehan Casinader (2017)

Project: The Inside Word is a six-part panel show for TVNZ Duke. Each week, Jehan Casinader interviewed three guests about a different topic such as cyber-bullying or body image. The guests shared raw, honest and compelling stories from their own lives – and explained how they approach their mental health challenges.

Tasha Impey (2017)

Project: Not a blanket approach is a series of personal stories for TVNZ’s social media channel RE:. The video series features six Kiwis from across Aotearoa, all with different personal trials and triumphs. The episodes explore mental health and show that there’s not a blanket approach to living through the tough stuff.

Indira Stewart (2017)

Project: Together Alone is a multimedia project for RNZ which explores why so many Pasifika people experience mental distress – and why so few seek help.

Katie Kenny and Laura Walters (2016)

Project: The last 150 years has seen the evolution of New Zealand's mental health system from big institutions, where people were kept "out of sight, out of mind", to today's community care model, with an increasing focus on resilience and mental wellness. Through the Maze is a feature series looking at this evolution as well as societal attitudes towards mental health.

Mike Wesley-Smith (2016)

Project: A three-part series for TV3’s The Nation called Perpetrators or Patients?, investigating experiences of mental distress in New Zealand’s criminal justice system.

Yvonne O'Hara (2015)

Project: Yvonne completed and published her second resource in her Down on the Farm series in June 2016. Down on the Farm: Rural families and mental health in the South a four-page rural resource was delivered to 38,500 rural families. 

Kim Vinnell (2015)

Project: Kim's project, exploring mental health and the workplace, aired on TV3's Story in November 2015. Watch Mental illness in the workplace and Protecting our mental health at work. Blogs from musician Ben Read, mindfulness trainer Stephen Archer and psychotherapist Kyle MacDonald were written. Visit Newshub's Mental Health Hub.

Charlotte Bellis (2014)

Project: Charlotte’s media grant project is an investigative 60 Minutes story about postnatal depression, broadcast on Prime TV in May 2015. A Mother's Anguish explores a maternal mental health service in the North Island targeting 650 mothers and babies each year – and talks to those with personal experience of postnatal depression.

Chris Barton (2013)

Project: An investigative, feature length article published in the July 2014 issue of North & South magazine. This 12-page special report is called Speaking out about suicide.

The article is also available online at and includes video interviews with some of those people profiled alongside longer versions of their stories.

Dylan Cleaver (2012)

Project: A four-day special report in the NZ Herald called Sport's dark shadow about mental health in elite sport. It comprises of several articles ranging from pressures facing cricket and rugby players, to the positive influence of ex-players like Sir John Kirwan.

Sonya Wilson (2012)

Project: A mental health special on TVNZ's 20/20. Stories included: Depression in elite sportsmen, a look at anxiety disorders, mental health in youth, and an interview with comedian and mental health campaigner Ruby Wax.

Guy Frederick (2011)

Project: A photojournalism project and exhibition called The Space Between Words. It chronicles the internal journeys of 14 individuals in the two years following the devastating Canterbury earthquakes as they rebuild their lives and flourish again.

Aaron Smale (2010)

Project: A feature article called The Stranger You Know in North & South magazine about the links between adoption and mental distress - an issue that has affected the mental health of a significant number of New Zealanders.

Gareth Watkins (2009)

Project: Watch Rainbow Touchstones, a series of digital stories around mental health issues in New Zealand's lesbian, gay, transgender and intersex community.

Yvonne O'Hara (2009)

Project: A 16-page newspaper supplement on rural mental health called Down on the Farm: depression and mental health in the rural South. It outlined the issues causing stress and depression among farmers in Otago and Southland.

Amanda Cropp (2008)

Project: A feature article for North & South magazine called No Refuge focussed on mental health issues facing refugees in New Zealand.

Halina Ogonowska-Coates (2007)

Project: A narrative media archive about people's personal experience of mental illness and a radio documentary about the experiences of one of those people she interviewed.