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    MHAW with Taranaki Retreat

    Image supplied by Taranaki Retreat

    Here at West Coast Cocoa we are big supporters of the Taranaki Retreat (they serve our Deluxe Hot Chocolate in their Waimanako cafe in New Plymouth too!) and we want to support them and their kaupapa this Mental Health Awareness Week.  Purchase a virtual hot chocolate through our webstore with proceeds going to Taranaki Retreat (and you receive free shipping!). We chatted to Liz Fry from the Retreat to tell us more about what they do.


    The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 is: Reconnect – with the people and places that lift you up. Most of us have felt disconnected at some point, especially over the last few years. How do you reconnect when you feel disconnected? 

    I used to struggle with loneliness a lot, and when I looked in to it more I found there were five ways to feel connection.  This was a connection to self, connection to others, connection to a higher being, connection to nature and connection to hobbies/interests.  So if things are feeling a bit off for me around connection, I will check in with myself and see what could be the most fruitful in that moment.


    Taranaki Retreat lives the kaupapa of ‘Hei pikinga waiora’, meaning to enhance/improve your wellbeing.  Can you please tell us about the work of the Retreat and your role within that? 

    Taranaki Retreat is a unique suicide prevention initiative.  We want to connect with people who are struggling, maybe life has thrown them a curveball or two and could really do with some help and someone to walk alongside.  Maybe they aren’t even considering suicide yet, we want to ensure that it stays that way and that they can get the support they are needing to help them navigate what has come up.

    I am the Life Coach at Taranaki Retreat.  Through life coaching we offer our tangata whai ora the chance to take a future focussed approach.  There is absolutely a time to focus on what’s happened, and then there also comes a time of asking what’s next, what does the next chapter hold and life coaching can help explore that.

    Image supplied by Taranaki Retreat

    What do you enjoy and / or appreciate most about your community?

    Their generosity.  I don’t think a day goes by without someone bringing in something, donating something, doing us a favour, helping to spread the word, yes it’s a super supportive community.


    In addition to purchasing a virtual hot chocolate this week, how can people support the amazing mahi of Taranaki Retreat?  

    So many ways, take a look at our fundraising website, Christmas gift ideas coming soon!  Or check out our social media pages or and help us to share our message that way!
    Or if local to New Plymouth and keen to volunteer/be involved then why not pop in to Waimanako (for a delicious hot chocolate!) and say hi!  We would love to connect!

    Image supplied by Taranaki Retreat

    Finally, how do you drink your West Coast Cocoa?

    I have never really been fussed about hot chocolate, and then I heard someone in the cafe order one with coconut milk, and I thought I have to try that…. CONVERTED!  So yes loving the smoothness of the coconut milk in it.

    To purchase a virtual hot chocolate and support Taranaki Retreat click here virtualhotchocolate



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