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‘Connecting with Nature’ for Mental Health Awarness Week

Media Release

Monday 10 October

Southern DHB ‘Connecting with Nature’ for Mental Health Awareness Week

Southern DHB is encouraging its staff to ‘Connect with Nature’ this week in support of Mental Health Awareness week.

This year, the theme of the well-supported nationwide event ‘Connect with Nature,’ is about how connecting with nature benefits your health and wellbeing.

“Mental Health Awareness Week is about raising awareness and understanding of mental health concerns so there is less stigmatisation and people are more comfortable asking for help,” said Southern DHB Mental Health Addictions and Intellectual Disability Directorate Medical Director, Dr Brad Strong.

“There are simple things we can all do that will make a huge difference to the mental health and wellbeing of everyone. Research shows that spending time in nature is great for mental and physical health and the theme this year fits really well.”

Today is Mental Health Awareness day, and Southern DHB staff are being encouraged to have some quality time outside, even for 10 minutes.

“We appreciate how busy our staff are but we’re encouraging them to take a few minutes to go outside and discover how even a short break makes us feel better. It’s also a really good way of raising awareness of mental health,” said Dr Strong.

Staff can send in photos of them connecting with nature which will be posted on the DHB Facebook page to show how the DHB is getting behind Mental Health Awareness week.

A series of events are also being held across the district to celebrate the week, starting with a launch in the Octagon, Dunedin with a free community event for everyone.

For more information on Mental Health Awareness Week go towww.mentalhealth.org.nz. Details of all the activities happening across the district through the week for Otago can be found at http://www.mhaw.nz/whats-on/otago/and for Southland at http://www.mhaw.nz/whats-on/southland/, or in the attached document.

ENDS


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