Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) takes place in the last week of September every year. It aims to bring conversations about mental health into the foreground, raise awareness of those who may be struggling and boost overall wellbeing.

This is a national effort, run by the Mental Health Foundation New Zealand, and encourages workplaces, organisations and individuals to take part in reflecting on their own mental health and how they can support those around them. For 2022, the awareness week runs from 26th September to 2nd October.

Statistically, one in five New Zealanders experience mental illness in their lifetime with one in seven experiencing depression.

The reality is everyone will struggle at some point in their lives, and could do with some support. This means it’s vital to have the knowledge and skills to identify these feelings and to speak out for friends, family or colleagues who may be struggling too.

The last few years have been tough on everyone in a multitude of ways. It’s not unusual at all to feel disconnected from the people and places that are important.

Mental Health Awareness Week is a fantastic opportunity for our staff to reconnect with one another and offer support where needed. That’s why we are taking part by planning informational and fun activities throughout the week that allow staff to catch up, check in with one another and generally reconnect.

We are also donating $1000 to the ‘I am Hope Foundation’ and $1000 to the ‘Mental Health Foundation’ to ensure these organisations continue to further the great mahi (work) they do in our communities.

This week forms part of our ongoing commitment to supporting the well being of our people, ensuring conversations about mental health continue and all our staff feel supported in an open environment.