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The Matt Skellern Trust: A new bi-polar support initiative

Thursday, May 30, 2013   Posted in: Resources and Information By: Administrator With tags: mental health, bipolar disorder, support group

The Matt Skellern Bipolar Trust, incorporated in March 2013, was established to inspire new and effective services for people with bipolar - and to increase public awareness and reduce the associated stigma.

Matthew Skellern, a talented and creative town planner and sportsman, took his life at the age of 30 in May 2012 because living with bipolar and its huge mood swings became too difficult.

He said in his parting note to his family: "My bipolar is too much for me. It is far worse than I have treated it. I feel hopeless in that I don't feel I can live a happy life.  I have gone on major ups and downs for many years and now reflect I cannot find the balance ... I'm just leaving to find a new place, resting for a while.''

Matthew had tried medication, therapy and the in-patient service, and needed more opportunities. He needed services, including peer support, that he felt comfortable and safe with; that could rekindle his hope; and equip him with the skills and knowledge to navigate the immense difficulties living
with bipolar can present.

First steps for the Matt Skellern Bipolar Trust

To begin with, the Trust is embarking on an in-depth feasibility study, conducted by Emma Skellern, a psychologist, accomplished mental health researcher and sister of Matthew.

Her study is dedicated to identifying needs and instilling more hope and support for people like Matthew to find the balance in their lives. The study will draw from new and best practice here and overseas to create the blueprint for a centre of innovation for people with bipolar.

Read the attached brochure for more information about the Matt Skellern Bipolar Trust.

Healthy Christchurch Champions

  • Canterbury District Health Board
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Environment Canterbury
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ngai Tahu
  • NZ Police
  • Pegasus Health
  • University of Otago, Christchurch