Connecting For Mental Health
MEDIA RELEASE – Friday 4 October 2013
Connecting For Mental Health
The West Coast will see its biggest ever community event focusing on mental health when Mental Health Awareness Week commences on Monday 7 October.
Working with community groups, allied health agencies and community volunteers in Westport, Greymouth and Hokitika, the West Coast District Health Board’s Mental Health Team has put together a week-long programme with the chance to win an Auckland Blues rugby jersey autographed by mental health advocate and educator Sir John Kirwan.
“John Kirwan is right behind the campaign and we’re so pleased he’s been kind enough to give a signed jersey for our raffle,” says Mental Health Quality Coordinator Sue Duff. “The money raised will go to an even bigger and better Mental Health Week campaign next year.”
Kiwi celebrity and well known Coaster Brendon Pongia will return to the Coast to open the week.
“Brendon has been very supportive and is giving his time free, but we are still looking for a sponsor to help with his travel and accommodation,” Sue says.
The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is ‘connect’.
“The week is not just for those with mental health issues, but for everyone. We want to encourage people to adopt the practices that help keep them mentally well; and you do that by making sure you have great connections to your home, family, whanau and community; resources that can provide inspiration, refreshment and support and keep you balanced. Connecting can mean taking time with family, getting involved with sport, going to the gym, joining a club, taking up an art or hobby, being a volunteer or engaging with community services.”
Secondary Mental Health Services, other agencies and their teams throughout the West Coast have provided information to Sue to ensure a full five day programme. Each day’s event will centre on either Westport, Greymouth or Hokitika and include food, workshops, activities, information, and displays all related to being well, staying well, recovering, and knowing what assets and resources are in the community to help people stay connected.
There will also be daily raffles with all of the prize money going toward the costs of future Mental Health Weeks. In addition to the Kirwan-signed Blues jersey, other prizes include a Scenic Hotel Franz Josef accommodation voucher, a meal voucher from DP1 and a painting of Ruapehu, all donated by Coast organisations and businesses.
The youngsters won’t miss out either. In addition to some fun activities and the food, there will be a drawing competition (using the Maori symbol for ‘connect’) open to children, with some great prizes on offer. Completed drawings can be submitted until 20 October at DP1.
It’s not all fun and games. There will be an opportunity to hear about, and hear feedback on, the National Mental Health Services Consumer Satisfaction Survey along with an update on the Mental Health Service Review at the West Coast Consumer Forum on Wednesday 9 October.