Rika is a youth Peer Support Specialist and motivational speaker from Aotearoa, New Zealand – a country which devastatingly has one of the highest rates of youth suicide in the world. She comes from a background of lived experience in mental distress and addiction recovery. She has dedicated the last nine years of her career to supporting youth in the field of suicide prevention. Rika founded youth empowerment organization, My Voice Matters, in 2014 and since then have been designing and facilitating youth wellbeing workshops in schools and communities nationwide.
She was the NZ ambassador for the Global Peace Challenge 2020, fellow of New Zealand’s Lifehack Flourishing Fellowship, alumni of the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand’s Point of Difference, and was a NZ delegate to the Youth Assembly, Washington DC 2019, which was a truly life – changing experience. Rika believes one young life lost to suicide is one too many. Her personal mission is to end the youth suicide crisis we are currently facing, and to be part of creating a world where all young people feel valued, supported and empowered to flourish.