Sunday, December 3, 2023

Tools for tuning up your mental health

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It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, and these simple actions are proved to help.
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It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, with a focus on the Five Ways to Wellbeing, a set of simple actions that are proven to improve mental health. 

The week’s Five Ways, Five Days theme asks New Zealanders to take notice, give, be active, connect and keep learning.  

The Five Ways to Wellbeing are backed by evidence and can be easily incorporated into anyone’s life, at any time. 

Research shows that New Zealanders who participate in more of the activities related to the Five Ways to Wellbeing, such as doing regular physical activity, connecting with others, taking time to relax and giving time to helping others, are likely to experience higher levels of wellbeing. 

Mental Health Foundation (MHF) chief executive Shaun Robinson said it’s been a tough few years for us all, and that wellbeing tools like the Five Ways can really help us to cope. 

“I live with bipolar and these simple techniques help me when I’m feeling both good and not so good. Over the past couple of years we’ve faced uncertainty and hardships that have left us with mixed emotions. By giving the Five Ways a go this Mental Health Awareness Week, you’re learning helpful tools you can rely on to give your mental health a boost when you need it. 

“One in five New Zealanders experience a mental illness and/or addiction each year, and it’s important to remember that with the right tautoko many people can and do recover. Mental Health Awareness Week is about learning ways to enhance our wellbeing, so that we’re better equipped to cope when times are tough for us. We all have mental health and it’s important to nurture it,” Robinson said. 

Te Whatu Ora Interim Director Mental Health Commissioning Jo Chiplin encourages New Zealanders to get involved with the conversations and activities taking place this Mental Health Awareness Week. 

“Mental Health Awareness Week is a reminder for us all to stop and take stock of our mental wellbeing. The Five Ways to Wellbeing are a simple, evidence-based set of tools that can make a real difference to your happiness and general sense of wellbeing. 

“We all need to break down the stigma about mental health concerns and talk with our friends and whānau about mental wellbeing. It is great to see increased awareness of the importance of good mental health with more New Zealanders prioritising looking after themselves and getting support when they need it.  For example, we’ve recently seen our free, face-to-face primary mental health and addiction services Access and Choice hit the milestone of one million sessions delivered,” Chiplin said. 

Jump online at to get resources, activity ideas and more to help bring the week to life in your workplace, school or home. 

In Focus this week: Tending to mental health on farm

Wayne and Tyler Langford chat with Bryan about their personal struggles they’ve had to overcome in the face of farming adversities.

Suffering from depression or stress, or know someone who is? Where to get help:

LIFELINE: 0800 543 354
NEED TO TALK? Call or text 1737
SAMARITANS: 0800 726 666
YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633 or text 234

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