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Social connection theme for Mental Health Awareness Week

Social connection theme for Mental Health Awareness Week

The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) is pleased to announce that the theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW), 7-13 October is Connect, because we are stronger when we pull together.

Loneliness and social isolation have many negative physical and mental health effects, and the recent Sovereign Wellbeing Index has shown that Kiwis aren’t doing well at connecting with each other.

We rated 22nd of 23 countries for social wellbeing behind the UK, France, Slovenia, Bulgaria, and Estonia. Only about 30% of New Zealanders interact socially with friends, colleagues, or relatives at least once a week.

The Index also showed that young New Zealanders – who are very well connected through social media – nevertheless feel very disconnected from their communities.

Our lack of regular meaningful connection has implications for our mental health and wellbeing, but the solutions are within our reach.

Throughout Mental Health Awareness Week the MHF will be encouraging Kiwis to do lots of easy, straightforward and doable things to connect meaningfully with others.

Many people feel that they are too busy to add yet more to their calendars, but wellbeing can be significantly boosted simply by doing little things such as making one personal (i.e. not business-related) phone call a day, reading a child a story, or walking the dog with friends.

Connect is one of the Five Ways to Wellbeing along with Give, Be Active, Keep Learning and Take Notice.

The poster and postcard* for MHAW contain lots of ideas for people to connect with each other and orders are open now. They feature suggestions for connecting such as going to the park, organising a shared lunch, being friendly to shop assistants, and smiling at the people you pass on the street.

© Scoop Media

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