Mandate is a Māori and Pasifika-led podcast tapping into the world of men’s mental health.
The main goal for the organisers is to allow a safe space for men to open up, and share experiences that may be considered too taboo for many. They hope to create a new generation of men more resilient than the last.
The podcast was set up as a free place to share thoughts, experiences, and hardships, creating a safe space for men, co-host Jaemen Busby of Te Rarawa says.
“It’s a tricky world to be a man in today, and so being able to bounce ideas off of each other, off of our guests, and really to not get too caught up in overthinking, your place in the world.”
Mandate was established by three Māori and Pasifika men who are aiming to break down the barriers and stigma often related to men’s mental health.
They first discussed setting up a podcast during the difficult 2020 lockdowns.
“Our job and our responsibility is to make them feel safe, and know that their story is going to help impact someone that’s listening, someone that’s gone through it. And it is to ultimately protect and encourage generations to come,” co-host Charles Mulipola says.
From 2021 till now, there have been many guests, from social media influencers, radio hosts, and others sharing thoughts, struggles and experiences. But for Mulipola one of the guests has a pool of knowledge that will never run dry.
“I think Pio [Terei] was probably one of my favourites in terms of just the wisdom. He has so much knowledge, and he’s been around for years, and I think his insight around grief, I think that was massive, like on how to deal with it, and just him sharing his story around it and some of these nuances I’ve never heard before.”
Although the trio have been doing this mahi for the past two years, their hope for the future is to leave a more resilient generation of men.
Mulipola says, “For me in terms of Mandate, it’s allowing our men to be men, to find their purpose, their mandate. If we’re strengthening men, then we’re strengthening families and strengthening communities.”
Co-host Petia Wilson hopes the podcasts will be like a time capsule through the years and the generations “so people will look back and say ‘oh, wow, this is what they were doing.’ And some of the things we’re talking about today, are some of the things they were talking about years and years ago. So the issues we have we’re still having them.
“So the hope is they can see this as some sort of guidance, ‘oh, okay this is what they went through, and so how do I combat this?’.”
Over the rest of the year, these men are looking to open their podcast doors to women, and give them a place to share their hardships and challenges faced, to show there are men and women walking together in this troubling world to seek a brighter future.
Where to get help
If it is an emergency and you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
For counselling and support
Lifeline: Call 0800 543 354 or text 4357 (HELP)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: Call 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
Need to talk? Call or text 1737
Depression helpline: Call 0800 111 757 or text 4202
For children and young people
Youthline: Call 0800 376 633 or text 234
What’s Up: Call 0800 942 8787 (11am to 11pm) or webchat (11am to 10.30pm)
For help with specific issues
Alcohol and Drug Helpline: Call 0800 787 797
Anxiety Helpline: Call 0800 269 4389 (0800 ANXIETY)
OutLine: Call 0800 688 5463 (0800 OUTLINE) (6pm-9pm)
Safe to talk (sexual harm): Call 0800 044 334 or text 4334
All services are free and available 24/7 unless otherwise specified.
For more information and support, talk to your local doctor, hauora, community mental health team, or counselling service. The Mental Health Foundation has more helplines and service contacts on its website.