MHAW 2019 Key Messages:
Mental Health Awareness Week is 23–29 September and the theme is Explore your way to wellbeing – Whāia te ara hauora, Whitiora.
Endorsed by the World Federation for Mental Health, Mental Health Awareness Week is marked in over 150 countries at different times of the year.
The World Health Organisation defines wellbeing as “a state in which every individual realises their own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to their community”.
We all have mental health – it’s a taonga/treasure and something to look after so we can lead our best and most fulfilling lives at school/kura, mahi/work, at home, with whānau and with the wider community. When our wellbeing is strong, our whānau, communities and Aotearoa can flourish too.
Wellbeing isn’t just for people who have not experienced mental illness – it’s for everyone. 1 in 5 Kiwis experience a mental illness each year. Almost all of these people will recover or live well with the right tautoko/support.
Mental Health Awareness Week is an important reminder that we all go through ups and downs in life and that’s okay.
You can Explore your way to wellbeing – Whāia te ara hauora, Whitiora by taking the time to notice the simple experiences, actions, relationships and surroundings that make you feel good every day, and prioritise them more often!
Mental Health Awareness Week is underpinned by Te Whare Tapa Whā, a model that 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 with the whenua/land forms the foundation.
The Mental Health Awareness Week activity ideas are also inspired by the Five Ways to Wellbeing – five simple strategies that are proven to boost wellbeing. For further information, visit https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/home/ways-to-wellbeing/.
To find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week, including events, activities and ways to explore your own way to wellbeing, head to the website: https://mhaw.nz/
Te Whare Tapa Whā key messages:
Te Whare Tapa Whā was developed by leading Māori health advocate and researcher Sir Mason Durie. It describes health as a wharenui/meeting house with four walls: wairua/spiritual, hinengaro/mental and emotional, tinana/physical and whānau/family and social. Connection with the whenua/land and roots forms the foundation. All four walls should be in balance for wellbeing to be strong.
o Te Whare Tapa Whā forms the themes of the first five days of MHAW:
o Monday 23 September: Whenua – Whenua is your connection to the land. A source of life, nourishment and wellbeing for everyone. Whenua can be your place of belonging – that means the spaces where you feel comfortable, safe and able to be yourself.
o Tuesday 24 September: Hinengaro – Hinengaro is your mind, heart, conscience, thoughts and feelings. It’s about how you feel, as well as how you communicate and think.
o Wednesday 25 September: Tinana – Tinana is about how your body grows, feels and moves and how you care for it. Nourishing and strengthening your physical wellbeing can help you to cope with the ups and downs of life.
o Thursday 26 September: Whānau – Whānau is about how who makes you feel you belong, who you care about and who you share your life with. Whānau can be extended relationships – not just your immediate relatives. As a core source of strength, support, security and identity, whānau plays a central role in your wellbeing.
o Friday 27 September: Wairua – Wairua explores your relationship with the environment, people and heritage in the past, present and future. For some, wairua is the capacity for faith or religious beliefs. Others may describe wairua as an internal connection to the universe.
The Wellbeing Photo Challenge:
The social media Wellbeing Photo Challenge runs from 23–27 September and the daily themes will help you to explore your way to wellbeing and discover the things that make you feel good! Take part and you’ll into the draw to win daily prizes plus a grand prize of a Nikon D3500 worth $800 thanks to our friends at Nikon New Zealand!
Visit https://mhaw.nz/compsactivities/wellbeing-photo-challenge/ to learn more and get involved.