Mental Health Awareness Week

As you all know (hopefully), this week was Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW). This year’s theme was Reconnection. It is the perfect time to reflect on the things, people and places we love, and how these can be great tools in the maintenance of our mental health.

What is mental health and well-being?

We all have mental health. It’s a taonga/treasure, something to look after so we can lead our best and most fulfilling lives.

The World Health Organisation defines wellbeing as ‘a state in which every individual realises their own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community.’

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. Well-being isn’t just for people who have not experienced mental illness – it’s for everyone.

There are all sorts of ways to help us cope in difficult times. Understanding ourselves, and being connected with the people and things we care about during the good times can prepare us for the not-so-good times.

This Mental Health Awareness Week, we encouraged you to reconnect with the people and places that lift you up.

Here’s a recap of what’s been on at Mercy for MHAW:

Rāhina | Monday 26 September – Reconnect with yourself

Today was a day of reflection, taking the time to check in with yourself and acknowledge how you’re feeling. Kōrero walls were put up in different areas throughout Mercy and we asked you to respond to some questions. Here are some of the answers we received:

Which people and places lift you up?

  • Anywhere in New Zealand lucky to live in such a spectacular place
  • Chris Hayde
  • Family
  • Theatre 5 on Tuesday
  • Nature
  • A quiet peaceful lake – Te Anau on a clam morning
  • Playing team sports
  • Walking with my dog on a hill top or beach
  • Countryside – smells and sights
  • Bird song
  • Home

What’s something you’d like to commit to doing to boost your well-being?

  • More cake (including vegan)
  • Barre base
  • Yoga + Stretch
  • Talk more about well-being
  • Good sleep
  • Get more exercise
  • Focus more on the positives in life
  • Mindfulness

What helps you stay mentally healthy at work?

  • Free/yummy food
  • A walk outside to clear my head
  • A great team/ team banter
  • Coffee from the café
  • Meditation
  • Laughing
  • Teamwork
  • Fresh fruit for staff
  • Cinnamon rolls from Richard Ward
  • Having good music
  • The people

What is your comfort song?

  • Enya
  • Metallica – Master Of Puppets
  • Highway To Hell
  • Another One Bites The Dust
  • Country
  • Heros – David Bowie
  • Anything – Bob Dylan
  • I Am The One And Only
  • Fire, Water Burn – Bloodhound Gang
  • Ship Song
  • River Flows In You – Yiruma
  • Drops Of Jupiter
  • Don’t Stop Believing – Journey
  • Just Lose It – Eminem
  • The Corn Song

Rātu | Tuesday 27 September – Reconnect with a friend or loved one

For Tuesday we shared and talked about food that has special meaning to you with your team. If you didn’t that’s okay, you could do this on any day, if you do, take the time to notice how it makes the people around you feel!

Rāapa | Wednesday 28 September – Reconnect with a special place

Thank you to those of you who shared a photo of a place you love. If you want to see the photos they will be in the slide show below or on the TV’s in LGF, Theatre Tearoom and Callaghan.

Everyone who sent in a photo went in the draw to win one of two $10 coffee vouchers. Here are our winners:

  • Andy Frampton
  • Katherine Hije

Rāpare | Thursday 29 September – Reconnect with your community

We reconnected with the Mercy community by having a BBQ. A huge thank you to Rachel and her team for organising the food and supplies, as well as Ryan and Adele for helping out with a busy service. Special mention to Paul and Hunter for helping with the set up.

It was a great turn out, so thank you for getting involved and hopefully, you all enjoyed having some lunch with your teams.

Rāmere | Friday 30 September – Reconnect with nature

Today we embrace nature with a picnic. There will be picnic areas set up in LGF, Manaaki and Theatre tearoom for you to use (the weather forecast encouraged our decision to try to bring nature indoors for the day)

Emma kindly offered to do a tour of Mercy’s grounds. This will start outside Main Reception at 02:00 PM and go on for about half an hour.

We are also excited to have Shelia speak about Mental Wellbeing. Come on over to the Barclay room at 11:00 AM or 3:00 PM to listen and join in the discussion.

Where to turn for support:

All Mercy Staff, their partners and dependent children, can self-refer to our Employment Assistance Programme (EAP) which gives access to three free external counselling appointments, just let your chosen provider know that you are a Mercy Staff member (or the connection to a Mercy staff member) at the time of booking. The providers are:

  • Psychology Associates – (03) 477 7120, premises located on 1st floor, NMA Building, 49 Water Street, Dunedin.
  • Workplace Support – 0800 333 200, premises located Ground Floor, Colonial Building, 258 Stuart Street, Dunedin.

Sessions are confidential and you are not obliged to tell Mercy you, or one of your loved ones have accessed the service, however to ensure you are fully supported it is a good idea to let your line manager know.

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