This year’s Mental Health Awareness week was focusing on YOU – the professional. It was all about what can you do at work and at home to help maintain your mental health and wellbeing. There was a full schedule of events running daily from 8.00am to 4.00pm.
Throughout Mental Health Awareness Week, staff were welcome to come along to the Innovation Lab for a chance to tantalise their senses. Staff enjoyed a mini massage in the plush massage chair or a soothing hand massage and experienced how their five senses can relieve stress and anxiety.
Daily wellbeing drop in sessions for staff covered a range of topics to help maintain staff mental health and wellbeing. Music Therapy with Ajay Castelino went over how music therapy can be used to assist people to meet their emotion, intellectual, physical and social needs. Melody Barr covered Sleep Hygiene inviting staff to come and find out more about restless nights and being tired.
Resilience In Young People with Dr Peter Watson was about how can we support our children and young people to build resilience? Cassandra Laskey covered Wellness Planning Do you know your stress indicators? And how do you maintain your own wellbeing?
An Introduction to Mindfulness with Jo Soldan was about finding out more about mindfulness and how it can be used to relieve stress and anxiety. Employee Assistance Program with Irene Bates, how EAP may be beneficial to you, your colleagues and your staff.
Susanna Brittain discussed what an Eating Disorder is and what are the signs and symptoms? Managing Change by Sandy Millar, we might not like it but change happens to us. Is there a way to manage it with less stress?
As part of Mental Health Awareness week there were lunch time performances in the cafeteria at Ko Awatea. Monday saw the team from Tiaho Mai perform Maori songs. On Wednesday a meditation flash mob was performed to help create Mindfulness within staff. Calming music started to echo throughout the Café as people were meditating with onlookers in silence watching peacefully. Thursday lunchtime was all about Polynesian dance. A ‘Hot Hula Fitness’ instructor came in to teach staff. An exciting 40 minutes filled with laughter and dance.
Wishbone café was overflowing with sweet music on Friday. Staff enjoyed some light entertainment while eating their lunch as different people sung. The main act for the day was Johnny Angel who sung a variety of well-known songs. Angel is an artist, a musician, a published author and one of the ‘stars’ featured in the ‘Like Minds, Like Mine’ TV ads about mental health. Johnny suffered from depression some years ago and auditioned for the ad because he felt he was in a good place and wanted to share with others how he got better. He experienced a change in his attitude realising he couldn’t do it alone and he needed support.
Staff have been leaving Ko Awatea after participating in some of the activities put on for Mental Health Awareness week with big smiles and feeling more relaxed. Tim Trevenen the IT master at Ko Awatea said “A massage a day has made me relaxed and ready for my weekend”.