The Mental Health Foundation theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 is ‘Explore Your Way to Wellbeing. Whāia te ara hauora, whitiora’

The Māori public health team from Hāpai Te Hauora will be facilitating workshops during Mental Health Awareness Week to highlight community initiatives to improve wellbeing.

“The best and most impactful mental health innovation mahi that we see in our communities is whānau-led,” says Janell Dymus-Kurei, Kaiwhakahaere Māori Public Health for Hāpai. “This Mental Health Awareness Week we are putting our resources into supporting some of those community initiatives.

“We know Māori suffer disproportionate harm from mental distress in Aotearoa,” continues Dymus-Kurei. “The whakapapa of this inequity stems from our history of colonisation and the violent disconnection from our matauranga Māori – our philosophies and our scientific and healing traditions – the things which kept us well before the arrival of the colonisers.”

“It makes sense that the things which will restore the wellbeing of whānau are the things that were taken from us. For our team at Hāpai, we consider our role as community enablers – supporting that critical connection to matauranga, to taiao and to each other to minimise the harm from mental distress.”

Mental Health Week: 23-19 September 2019

Monday 23 September
Pure Ceremony:
WHERE: Mangere Mountain
WHEN: Monday 23rd September, 7am-9am
This workshop will take place in community settings where community members can come together to participate in an ancient traditional process, called ‘Pure’. A traditional practice to release negative energies on outgoing tides.

Wednesday 25 September
Maara Kai workshop:
WHERE: Birkdale North Primary school
WHEN: Wednesday 25th September, 10am-2pm
This workshop will take place in community settings, where community members can come together and share learnings about Maara Kai and actually build Maara kai. Resources will also be provided to help whanau build food sovereignty in their own backyard. Marist Alt Education Centre bring together the community in Birkdale, to build a maara kai for the community at Birkdale North Primary School. Students from Marist Alt Education and Birkdale North work together to learn how to plant seedlings, sow seeds and make compost. Whenua Warrior Trust will help to facilitate the workshops and help connect mental health awareness to gardening.

Friday 27 September
Waka Ama Day: Tangaroa – “ko te wai te whakaora”
WHERE: Okahu Bay
WHEN: Friday 27th September, 9.30am-2pm
Hāpai host Māori Public Health orgs & wider whānau to participate in waka ama races and build whanaungatanga with other organisations, while embodying public health in practice. The day will be led by Orākei Water Sports, who will engage in korero about having no more moorings in Okahu Bay, teaching how to paddle and then running the races between the organisations.


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