Skills for life


Charitable Trust

Skills for Life

About Skills For Life

Quality Education. Excellent Results.

Based in Whangarei, Northland, New Zealand, Skills For Life Charitable Trust was founded in February 2017.  We’re proud to offer CBT based learning opportunities to committed and motivated individuals needing support with mental health issues.

Anyone can experience a mental health issue at any point in their life and need some help with understanding what they are experiencing and how to manage that experience. 

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a short-term, goal orientated, evidence-based approach that takes a hands-on, practical method to problem solving.  Its goal is to change patterns of behaviour and thinking that are behind people's difficulties, and so change the way they feel. 

In addition to a full course catalogue for many differing needs, we instil confidence and resiliency in our students, giving them the power to tackle real world problems. Get in touch with us today to see how you can benefit from learning with us.

Please see blog 22/3/2020 regarding service provision due to COVID-19


Courses Available

Learn With Us

When you decide to work with Skills For Life, you will be getting so much more out of your learning experience. Our facilitators are experienced in mental health issues and are passionate about bringing the best out of our students.  Check out all of the amazing opportunities we provide below.

Our courses comprise of 8 or 10 two hour sessions, held weekly, with the exception of Introduction and Enrolment which is a one off 2 hour period.  

Online Courses


Make your mental health a priority!
Skills for Life are offering live video links to FREE Cognitive Behaviour Therapy based courses for the people of Northland. Increase your understanding and learn how to manage Anxiety, Depression or Stress. Course for Youth 12-14 or 15-17 and adults available. Please contact us to enrol or for more information.

Dealing with 'IT'

eight session course

This course provides an understanding of symptoms of anxiety and panic and their effects, as well as exploring treatments and self management options. We’ll define anxiety and panic and its impact on the mind and body. We’ll explore how lifestyles can affect anxiety, how to change anxious thinking cycles and how to relax more effectively.

Cool Connections

Aimed at 10 - 13 year olds

The 10 week course is based on a cognitive behavioural approach and aims to build resiliency by increasing self-esteem and social skills as well as preventing or reducing anxiety and depression.

A Tower of Stones

How To Be Bold

eight session course

In this course we’ll explore how to increase your self-esteem, improve your sense of achievement and be more hopeful about future opportunities.
You will discover how a lack of self-compassion can decrease your confidence. You’ll learn self-compassion practices to help you be more compassionate towards yourself and to promote personal recovery. You don’t need previous knowledge on this subject, but need to be willing to participate and share your experiences.


Mind Fullness to Mindfulness

Activate Your Mind

Being mindful means to bring your full attention to your present experience in an accepting, non-judgemental way.
In this course we’ll explore what mindfulness is, how to practise mindfulness quickly and easily so you can integrate a new way of being into your everyday life. This can help you to cope with your challenging emotions, managing stress, and increasing your general sense of wellbeing in a rich variety of different ways.

Taming the Black Dog

eight session course

Depression is one of the most common mental health issues. In this course, we’ll explore what it is and its wide ranging impact on all aspects of life. We’ll talk about all kinds of treatments including lifestyle strategies to improve mood and gain a sense of control and explore some cognitive and behavioural techniques.

Gaining Balance

Gaining Balance

ten session course

This course can be attended in conjunction with medication treatment for Bipolar Disorder. The course involves learning how to
• monitor and understand mood symptoms
• identify early warning signs for episodes
• deal with stressful events that can trigger episodes
The course will also teach you techniques and strategies to help you manage episodes of depression and mania.

Black Dog Training

Black Dog Training

For 13 - 17 year olds

This course is specifically for young people that experience depression. During this course we’ll look together at what it means to be depressed and how to cope with specific symptoms. Understanding what depression is and how it can affect our minds and behaviours is key to learning how to have better control on its effects. We will help you to identify and change your unhelpful thinking and behaviours which will help you to fight the lows.

Fighting 'IT'

Fighting 'IT'

For 13 - 17 year olds

This course is specifically for young people that experience anxiety. During this course we’ll look together at what anxiety is and how it affects us; how it feels, what we are thinking and what we do. We will explore all the different situations that bring anxious feelings and the possible reasons for that. We will learn different ways to feel relaxed-the opposite to feeling anxious. Helping us to understand all about anxiety teaches us how to be the boss of ‘it’!

Bounce Back

Bounce Back

Ten session course

Bad things do happen! We all face change, loss and hardship in one form or another throughout our lifetime. Resilience is the ability to deal with adversity, process it, and move on.
This course explores the five characteristics that make a person more resilient: being positive, focused, organised, flexible and proactive. You will learn how to build skills that will help you to turn adversity into an opportunity to learn and grow rather than feeling dejected, victimised, or angry.

Maternal Mental Health

New Beginnings and Navigating Changes

Eight session course

Pre and Postnatal distress is a common mental health issue and affects around one in five mothers and one in six fathers. It is acknowledged that new parents and parents to be are left woefully short of support and are bombarded with information on what they ’should be and should not be doing’.
This course looks at the reality of being a parent. We look at ways to deal with symptoms of distress including lifestyle strategies to improve mood and gain a sense of control and explore some cognitive and behavioural techniques.

Moving Forward and Staying Well

Moving Forward and Staying Well

Eight session course

This course aims to boost your confidence and independence by exploring aspects of how you live and your relationships with others.
Using the concept of wellness planning, we will explore steps you can take to promote and maintain a sense of wellbeing. We will explore ideas such as food and mood, medication use and meaningful activity and how they can play a part in your recovery journey.

For more information on services offered at Skills For Life, contact us.



We’d be happy to provide you with additional information about individual courses and facilitators at Skills For Life.

Go to our facebook page, text or send us a message.


Suite 303, 33-35 Robert Street, Whangarei 0110



09 988 9938 / 021 791 141


09 988 9938

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Skills for life

Opening Hours

Locations and hours vary depending on course

Mon - Fri: 8.30am - 7pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed


Covid -19 and ongoing services

March 22, 2020

In view of the current Covid-19 update Skills for Life would like to let you know that they are still open for business.

The communities mental and phy...

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Skills For Life Charitable Trust

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09 988 9938 / 021 791 141

09 988 9938

Suite 303, 33-35 Robert Street, Whangarei 0110

©2017 by Skills For Life Charitable Trust