The Health Promotion Forum is encouraging New Zealanders to participate in Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) which started yesterday (September 23).
Explore your Way to Wellbeing – Whāia te ara hauora, Whitiora is the theme for the week during which more than 6000 people from workplaces, kura, schools and community groups across the country have registered to participate in activities to boost their mental wellbeing.
Mental Health Foundation (MHF) chief executive, Shaun Robinson says MHAW is a time to take notice of our mental wellbeing and recognise that it’s a taonga/treasure that needs to be nurtured.
“Exploring your way to wellbeing means taking the time to notice the simple experiences, actions, relationships and surroundings that make you feel good every day, and prioritise them more often,” Mr Robinson says.
“We know one in five of us will experience some mental distress each year. Most of these people will recover and live well with the right support. Awareness of the importance of looking after our mental wellbeing has never been higher, and this week gives us the opportunity to put that awareness into action, with the chance to engage in various activities that work best for you.”
Daily activities for MHAW are based on Te Whare Tapa Whā, a model developed by Māori health advocate and researcher Sir Mason Durie, which describes health as a wharenui/meeting house with four walls. These walls represent taha wairua/spiritual wellbeing; taha hinengaro/mental and emotional wellbeing; taha tinana/physical wellbeing; and taha whānau/family and social wellbeing. Our connection to the whenua/land forms the foundation.
The five themes will give everyone a chance to engage in different activities each day and find out which things uplift their wellbeing.
“With spring here, there are plenty of opportunity to get out and about with your whānau and work colleagues,” Mr Robinson adds.
Click here to learn more about Mental Health Awareness Week.