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Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand Runanga Whakapiki Ake i te Hauora o Aotearoa
News

Kiwis are being encouraged during Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) to reflect on the challenges the nation has faced together in 2020 and to reimagine what wellbeing looks like.

The theme for this week which is Reimagine Wellbeing Together – He Tirohanga Anamata challenges us to reflect on the big and small actions we’ve taken to take care of each other this year, and to look at wellbeing through a new lens.

Mental Health Foundation Chief Executive Shaun Robinson says he is proud of how New Zealanders “have rallied together and tackled the challenges of shifting through different levels … Our new normal is quite different… MHAW is a timely reminder of how important it is to embrace the simple things we can do each day to really help strengthen our wellbeing – that’s what will help us during the tough times.”

Each day of MHAW has a theme inspired by Te Whare Tapa Whā, a model developed by Māori health advocate and MHF patron Sir Mason Durie. (Go to HPF’s YouTube channel for more about the model)

“Te Whare Tapa Whā helps us to find ways to look after our taha wairua (spiritual health), taha tinana (physical health), taha hinengaro (emotional and mental health), taha whānau (family and friends). When all these things are in balance, including the whenua (foundations) we thrive. When one or more of these is out of balance, our wellbeing is impacted,” says Thomas Strickland, Kaiwhakarite Māori Development Specialist, MHF.

Robyn Shearer, the Ministry of Health’s Deputy-Director General, Mental Health and Addiction says he’s pleased to hear so many schools and kura are taking part this year.

Across Aotearoa, almost 10,000 workplaces, communities, whānau, schools and kura are celebrating the taonga/treasure that is our mental health.

For more info about what’s happening around NZ and to register click here.

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News

Unity, effective leadership, clear communication and collaboration were highlighted in a webinar run by HPF as some of the key factors that helped boost the resilience of the Pacific community in Aotearoa NZ through all the alert levels, including lockdown

Dr Seini Taufa the Research and Evaluation Lead for Moana Research and Dr Colin Tukuitonga the Associate Dean Pacific, at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences were the key speakers at the webinar held yesterday. (June 30)

‘Appropriate Covid-19 Response with a Pacific lens moving to the future’ was the last of HPF’s special series of webinars aimed at advising and guiding organisations and communities through Covid-19. We will let you know when the webinar is uploaded to our Youtube channel

Dr Taufa discussed the key factors she believed helped the Pacific community get through the crisis so successfully. These included working together collectively and collaboratively and good leadership utilising the three major health promotion strategies of the Ottawa Charter: to advocate; mediate and enable.

She pointed out that clear and transparent communication, particularly during this era of social media and livestreaming, was crucial as we are constantly bombarded by messages and information, some accurate and some inaccurate.

For Pacific communities she emphasised the importance of providing ‘ethnic-specific’ information and how the messenger was just as important as the message.

Also important in moving forward, she stressed was the need for more Pacific-led research.

Dr Tukuitonga said he was impressed with how we [Pacific] got on as a community and that communication, unity and cohesion were key to our success. “… we worked well together … We need to maintain this cohesion to combat future threats.”

Dr Tukuitonga warned that the Covid crisis was clearly not over in New Zealand and that the community must continue to be vigilant and practise good hygiene, social distancing, and other precautionary measures.

It was important that measures at the borders continue to be robust and as tight as they can be, he urged.

Dr Tukuitonga also addressed the escalation of racism during Covid-19 and the need to continue to fight the long-term threat to the Pacific Islands and the world – climate change.

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