October 2016


Staff and clients practice tai chi at Pukekura Park, during Mental Health Awareness Week.

The sun shone on the fernery lawn at Pukekura Park yesterday as about 20 people took time out to practice tai chi and qigong as part of Taranaki Mental Health Awareness Week.

The theme for this year is connecting with nature and the location could not have been more perfect as tui and blackbirds joined in with the ducks and the dog walkers to enjoy the sunshine after a wet morning.

It has been a busy week already for the mental health team who kicked off the week guiding a mindful walk through Pukekura Park on Monday. Tuesday morning saw an early start for the breakfast club hosted at the Community Café at Taranaki Cathedral on Tuesday.

The Community Café hosts breakfast at the cathedral every Tuesday morning from 7.30 to 10am. Staffed by volunteers it serves delicious breakfasts for 50 cents per item, with the crepes being particularly popular. All funds received from the breakfast koha go to charity.

Tui Ora kaimahi incorporate the event into their day activity programme and take tangata whaiora along each week to socialise and enjoy an affordable breakfast.

Activity Based Recovery Programme Coordinator Nadja Berhardt was at the breakfast club yesterday, which she described as a full house. Brochures on mental wellbeing were placed on tables and well-received by attendees.

Rain stopped play on Wednesday afternoon. A planned mindful walk had to be cancelled due to an untimely downpour. A circus workshop run by resident aerial yoga instructor Brendon Whitmore went ahead under cover of the rotunda.  

Sam Heath of the Tui Ora Physical Health Outcomes Service said:

"We are adding more diverse activities like circus skills to our day activity programmes to broaden the appeal. Regular team sports like touch, badminton and indoor soccer and cricket are really popular but it's great to try something new."

The fun continues tomorrow (Thursday) in Hawera with a whānau day in the main square from 10am to 2pm.

The remaining events for Mental Health Awareness Week are listed below:

Thursday 13 10-2pm - Hawera Whānau Day, Hawera Main Square. Games and activities - Wet weather venue Salvation Army

Friday 14 10-11:30pm, Riding for the Disabled, 1 Alba St, Barretts Domain. (Bookings essential)

Saturday 15 10-3pm - Whānau Day and Duck Race, Huatoki Plaza and Puke Ariki Landing *Stalls*Sausage Sizzle*Tai Chi*Gala Games.

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