Mental Health Awareness Week
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"Get in the Game" is the theme for this year's Mental Health Awareness Week from October 10 to 16 - a challenge to Whanganui residents to get out and enjoy the range of activities on offer throughout the week.
 
To show how varied these activities are - on Monday October 10 Tai chi/Flexibility Exercises will be held at Pakaitore/Moutoa Gardens from 12 noon to 12.30pm. And on Friday October 14 people can join in a Karaoke singing and Zumba session from 11am to 2pm in Majestic Square organised by the Removing Barriers Group
 
WDHB Health Promoter Hine Potaka says a number of Wanganui Mental Health Services including Removing Barriers, Balance Whanganui, Supporting Families in Mental illness and Mistare working together this year to raise awareness about how important it is for people to have good mental health.
 
Hine says taking part in physical activity and sharing pursuits with friends and family are two of the most important things people can do for their own wellbeing.
 
“By physical activity, I mean taking a walk, getting out and doing some gardening, meeting with friends to share each others’ news and views, going for a swim –things that do wonders for building our self esteem and helping us enjoy life,” Hine says.
 
“Take noticeof what’s going on in your community, give some time to others, connect with people and stay in touch with family, friends and contacts.
 
“And always keep learning because there is no better way to keep the brain active. Remember that people interested in learning are usually the most interesting people to be with. Everyone of the these activities help promote mental wellbeing. It’s time to take action and feel good.”
 
Education sessions and open days will be held throughout Mental Health Awareness Week. October 10 is World Mental Health Awareness Day. The week’s celebrations will begin with the invitation only opening of the new Balance Whanganui room at 57 Ridgway St. For more information on events taking place please contact Linda McArthur 06 345 4488, Hine Potaka 348 8915 or Chrissy Bretherton 345 3301.
 
Sands Whanganui co-ordinator Amanda Weck says on Friday 14 October, a silent march titled ‘Empty Strollers, Empty Shoes’ will begin in Taupo Quay (ending at Majestic Square) at 1pm to support Child and Baby Loss Awareness Week.
 
Anyone wanting support for their mental health needs is invited to contact their GP or Whanganui DHB Mental Health Services on 06 348 1234.
 
  • Statistics show that one in five people will experience some form of mental ill health in their lifetime and most will recover and go on to lead a normal life. One in three people will have ongoing experience of mental ill health. According to the World Health Organisation depression will be one of the worlds leading diseases by 2020.