It wasn't just the humans having fun at the Whānau Fun Day at Puke Ariki on Saturday as Mental Health Awareness Week wrapped up for 2016. Around 300 people came to enjoy face painting, gala games and the sausage sizzle.
The fun day in New Plymouth marked the end of a great week for the mental health team who worked alongside Pathways, Progress to Health and Supporting Families to arrange a week of activities, mostly outdoors, to capture the spirit of the 2016 theme: connecting with nature.
The week ended with a climatic finish as the duck race got underway with 100 rubber ducks taking to the Huatoki stream to battle it out in race to the ocean.
None actually made it thanks to the benign currents of the Huatoki, and the valiant efforts of a wetsuit clad staff member who braved the cool waters to safely swoop up the ducks. A winner was announced and spot prizes awarded.
Hawera hosted its own whānau fun day last Thursday and asked participants to describe how they connect with nature for their mental wellbeing.
Mental Health Awareness Week is celebrated annually in over 150 countries. It aims to raise awareness of mental health issues and to promote mental wellbeing for all.
For more on the whānau fun day and photos from the duck race see the coverage that appeared in the Daily News on Saturday here(external link)