Take time to kōrero

This week we encourage you to join over 13,000 people, organisations, schools and kura who are taking part in wellbeing activities to mark Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) and its theme – ‘take time to kōrero’. Now more than ever, as we adapt to changing alert levels, it’s important to connect with others and create space for conversations about mental health and wellbeing. “All New Zealanders have had a tough couple of months going through lockdowns to fight the spread of Covid-19” says Shaun Robinson, chief executive of the MHF. “Aucklanders in particular have borne the brunt of an extended lockdown period. It’s only inevitable that frustration is setting in as we move in and out of different levels of contact. It’s so helpful to connect with others, have a kōrero and a laugh … within your whānau bubble or via technology. It’s the little things that we do to support each other that can make a big difference in our lives!” Health Minister Andrew Little thinks the theme of this week “is great. You never know when someone, who is feeling vulnerable, stops to talk, just how much of a difference that can make”. It’s not too late to get involved in MHAW. The MHAW 2021 Guide provides day-by-day activities that can be done at school, work or home, inspired by Te Whare Tapa Whā and the Five Ways to Wellbeing, which are simple strategies proven to boost wellbeing. There are plenty more resources available to download from the MHF website, aimed at both tamariki and adults, to help everyone get involved whatever alert level they’re in. For the competitive among us, the social media-based MHAW Challenge kicks off on Monday 27 September – each week day there will be a daily challenge designed to get people having a kōrero in a different way, with awesome prizes up for grabs.