Reading in Mind for Mental Health

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week (9-15 October).

The 2012/13 New Zealand Health Survey reported that one in every six New Zealanders have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder at a point in their lives. The report also highlights a link between mental illness and poor physical health: mental disorders are the third highest cause of health loss in New Zealand. Chances are, you or someone you know has suffered from mental illness at some stage.

There is a wealth of information out there on mental health. It can be difficult to separate the good advice from the bad, the relevant from the not so.

With this in mind, a team of health professionals and librarians have created the Reading in Mind scheme. The scheme has sprung from a partnership between Pegasus Health, Christchurch City Libraries, the Mental Health Education Resource Centre and HealthInfo Canterbury/Waitaha.

Cover of Anxious kids, anxious parentsCover of Coping with Obsessive-Compulsive disorderCover of The mindful way through anxietyCover of Anger management for everyoneCover of We need to talk about griefCover of When someone you love is addicted to alcohol or drugs

The Reading in Mind scheme promotes the many benefits of reading for health and well-being, and really takes the hassle and doubt of choosing reading material for mental health issues. The scheme suggests a wide range of resources – including books, audiobooks and eBooks – on various topics including alcoholism, grief and divorce. Whilst nothing can replace the sound advice from your doctor or health care professional, it is a resource which can be used to assist with managing and treating mild to moderate mental health disorders. It is suitable for all ages and backgrounds.

Browse the Reading in Mind lists on the library catalogue.

Get active and make the most of the warmer weather with sports and activities, clubs for older adults and walks in and around Christchurch.

Here are some other health related resources to check out:

Mental Health Week 2016

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.

Mental health awareness week 2016

“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:

Cover of Taming the black dogTaming the Black Dog: a Guide to Overcoming Depression, Bev Aisbett

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.

Cover of Why can't I stop?Why Can’t I Stop? Reclaiming your Life From a Behavioral Addiction, Jon E. Grant

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.

Reading in mind logo

More information and help with mental health

Tania
Outreach & Learning Team

Beat those Winter Blues

Are you finding the gloomy days and cold nights are getting you down? I’ve come up with some blue-busting winter warmers to drag you out of the doldrums:

Exercise

There. I said it. It’s essential. Yes, I can hear you moan! Nothing warms the body up and produces happy brain chemicals like moving. It doesn’t have to be a marathon, a gentle stroll can do it. Christchurch City Council’s Sport and Recreation page has walks, fitness centres, bike, beaches and boating, activities, leisure clubs for older adults pages full of info and contacts.

Find a local club in CINCH or simply walk the dog, dance around the house to some cheerful tunes or get exercising with friends.

Get out of the house

Now this is a simple one. Withdrawing from day to day social contact with your fellow humans can have a negative effect on your mood. Yes, it’s cold out but there are warm places to go such as your local library! Ensure that you socialise with your friends and family regularly or find a social group on CINCH.

Brighten up your house

Let more light in by opening curtains and trimming trees. Ensure your body gets light by sitting by the window. Less light in winter can affect your mood.

Help others

Volunteer your time. Helping others is great for our own mental health. It gets you out of the house, socialising and you may even get some exercise too.

I just can’t do it!

Is depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress stopping you from having a positive outlook and fulfilling life? Visit your doctor/counsellor and these organisations to get help getting your life back.

More resources from our catalogue