Shedding positive light on mental health

The ‘My Happy Place’ App is designed to teach users how to pass quickly through their lowest times.

With suicide rates in New Zealand at an all-time high and Mental Health becoming more of a major issue, Tauranga woman Rachelle Hawes is creating an App entitled ‘My Happy Place’.

“The App is designed to help the staggering number of people who are struggling with feelings of hopelessness, stress and depression,” says Rachelle.

After seeing so many kids, friends and people around her on a daily rollercoaster of challenges with mental health, Rachelle has made it her mission to help others become more aware of how to step off the rollercoaster of negativity.

“I felt so compelled to help that I began going into schools and classrooms and teaching kids about the power of their thoughts and feelings.”

The results were instant and after seeing the positive effect the talks had on a number of kids and their families,

Rachelle realised that they needed a platform to go back to time and time again, to keep reinforcing the learnings and new habits.

From there she looked at various options and decided on an App format as it is the most easily accessible platform and it allows users to receive notifications and reminders.

“It’s like having a positive mindset at your fingertips,” says Rachelle.

Since starting her journey and developing the framework for the App for kids, Rachelle quickly realised that it would also be extremely beneficial for a wider audience and has since expanded the App’s content to also include teenagers and adults.

Part of the App includes a ‘30-Day Mindset Challenge’ for anyone to embark on.

“This program is based on a number of bite-sized mindset topics, spread over a 30-day period. Every day there is a new topic with a short learning video and tools and actions for the participant.”

She says the 30-day challenge covers a wide range of mindset topics for both teenagers and adults, relevant for in the classroom, in the workplace and at home.

“I developed the 30-day Challenge to teach people how to think and feel positive every day.  There are lots of things which affect our thoughts and feelings each day, and as soon as we become aware of these, and learn the tricks and techniques to help us feel better, we can get back to living a happy life,” says Rachelle.

Local business and mindset coach, Phil Holland has reviewed the 30-Day Challenge with Rachelle and was impressed.

“I love what Rachelle has created and can see it helping a large range of people to rediscover the positivity and happiness in their lives. The key to improving our mental health is to simplify mindset and to create tools and reminders to support people every day,” says Phil.

Tauranga Senior School Teacher Bridget Broadhurst is excited about the project.

“A positive mindset is the key to having a happy life, and that’s all we want for our kids,” says Bridget. 

She feels the App and the on-going support it brings will be hugely beneficial in schools.

“It’s a constant reminder for (the students), to help take away those negative thoughts and replace them with the positive ones,” says Bridget.

In order to finish the App and the 30-Day challenge, Rachelle has created a Pledgeme page to allow businesses and individuals to support the project.

The funds raised via Pledgeme will be used solely to develop the App and program with Rachelle and her team donating their time and expertise to the cause. As well as rewards, the Pledgeme page also gives the opportunity for a business or individual to have naming rights for the 30-Day challenge.

Click here for the My Happy Place Pledgeme page.

Where to get help:

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

Need to Talk? Free call or text 1737 any time to speak to a trained counsellor, for any reason.

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 or text HELP to 4357

Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 / 0508 TAUTOKO (24/7). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.

Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 (24/7)

Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (24/7)

Youthline: 0800 376 633 (24/7) or free text 234 (8am-12am), or email

What's Up: online chat (7pm-10pm) or 0800 WHATSUP / 0800 9428 787 children's helpline (1pm-10pm weekdays, 3pm-10pm weekends)

Kidsline (ages 5-18): 0800 543 754 (24/7)

Rural Support Trust Helpline: 0800 787 254

Healthline: 0800 611 116

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