This week is Mental Health Awareness Week
1 in 5 New Zealanders are diagnosed with a mental illness, including myself, meaning every New Zealander comes into contact with someone who is affected. That is why I feel it’s very important that we talk about and discuss mental illness, breaking down stereotypes, stigmas and barriers.
The focus for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is Connect with Nature for Good Mental Health and Wellbeing.
“Research has shown that spending time in nature is great for mental and physical health. Evidence proves it makes us happier, decreases feelings of depression and anxiety, improves concentration, buffers against stress, makes our lives meaningful and reduces health inequalities related to poverty.”
As part of a Mental Health Awareness Week there is a “lockout” organised for lunchtime today. We’re all encourage to get outside, rain or shine, and into the fresh air.
Being in nature helps me unwind, relax and practice mindfulness, which is still something I am working on.
I’m lucky to work for Christchurch City Libraries and to be surrounded by excellent resources. There are some other fantastic resources out there. Here are some of my favourites:
A witty and simple guide. You can have a laugh while also getting helpful tips to managing depression.
The Mindfulness Toolbox, Don Altman
Although this is intended for mental health practitioners it is full of practical, achievable activities for those using self help. I love that I can choose and print out one of the over 40 handouts and work through it at my own pace.
An interesting look at behavioural addiction’s (gambling, internet, OCD etc). Offering insight and helpful advice.
Reading in Mind Book Scheme, of which the Christchurch City Libraries is a proud partner.
The scheme recommends books, eAudiobooks, eBooks or DVDs about a wide range of mental health issues. The books are selected with the advice of mental health professionals and the Mental Health Foundation of NZ.
More information and help with mental health
- Mental Health Awareness Week
- Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand
- Depression and Anxiety
- Mental Health Education Resource Centre
- Like minds, like mine
Outreach & Learning Team