Wānaka Sun       

Getting through together: mental health awareness week

Posted at 6:00am Thursday 24 Sep, 2020 | By Joanna Perry newsdesk@thewanakasun.co.nz

Health professionals throughout the Southern district are promoting ‘Getting Through Together' this NZ Mental Health Awareness Week, September 21-27 .

Southern District Health Board (SDHB) Health Promotion Advisor David Pirie said the impact of COVID-19 has raised issues of mental health and wellbeing throughout New Zealand as people face uncertainty and unexpected stress. 

“The focus of Mental Health Awareness Week this year is Reimagine Wellbeing Together – He Tirohanga Anamata,” he said.

“This year hasn't been easy, so taking the opportunity to recharge and reimagine what wellbeing looks like is vital. It's a great chance to build on the things we've been doing to look after ourselves and to support each other to get through, together.”

The national campaign is about reminding ourselves that there are simple things we can all do to look after ourselves and others, like connecting with nature, being creative, listening to music or getting lost in a good book. 

In the Central Lakes area, the impacts of COVID-19 have seen growing demand for mental health support, and new workforces being implemented. These include social workers in schools, and new mental health support roles known as health improvement practitionersmintroduced into general practices - including Wānaka Medical.

Adell Cox - Southern DHB's Director for Allied Health, Mental Health and Addictions, and chair of the Central-Lakes Wellbeing Recovery Group - said the way in which all sectors of the community have joined together to support those in need has been outstanding.

“Our message is, if you need help, please reach out. You are not alone and there are services there to support you.”  

SDHB are complementing the campaign by offering podcasts, seminars and workshops to help people cope, adapt and thrive after the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read edition 993 of the Wānaka Sun here.



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