Racing rubber ducks, mindful walking and breakfasting together are features of the upcoming Taranaki mental health awareness week from 10-16 October.
A range of local services and providers have banded together to run different activities throughout the week. The theme of the nationwide promotion is ‘Connecting with Nature’ so Tui Ora, Supporting Families, Pathways, Progress to Health and the Taranaki District Health Board are working collaboratively to ensure there is a smorgasbord of outdoor action.
“There’s a strong network of organisations, dedicated to the wellbeing of our people throughout Taranaki and this is a good chance to promote that and ensure the word gets out,” says Tessa Milne, Tui Ora Mental Health & Addiction Services Team Leader.
While health professionals play a big part, family, friends and colleague are often the first ones to notice the warning signs of mental unwellness, says Tessa.
“It might be that a person has changed their eating, can’t concentrate, stopped doing things they enjoy or has mood swings. We want people to know that everyone can help – sometimes the simplest things like asking ‘are you Ok’ can begin a conversation that makes a big difference.”
Activities during the week are either free or low cost. They include walks, tai chi and qigong, as well as a circus workshop at Pukekura Park. There is the chance to try out equine therapy (bookings essential) to eat breakfast at Taranaki Cathedral while raising money for charitable organisations, and participate in a whānau day in Hawera.
The week will conclude with a mass rubber duck race from Huatoki Plaza on Saturday October 15 at 12.30. Tickets are available from a variety of locations including Green Door café, Tui Ora and Pathways (220 Devon St West). There are also activities, a sausage sizzle and swap shop on the day.
Local businesses are supporting mental health awareness by providing prizes for the duck race and sponsoring supplies. These include Event Cinemas, Pak n’Save, MegaBounce, Wild Bean Café, Chipmunks, Palmers Garden Centre, The Warehouse, Subway and Kathakali. Other businesses are supplying goods for the sausage sizzle.
For details of activities see below:
- Monday 10 12:15pm Mindful walking in Pukekura Park, meet at Tea House.
- Tuesday 11 7:30 -10am Breakfast Club, Taranaki Cathedral of St. Mary, Vivian St. Mental health info, $1 food items (Proceeds towards charity).12:30-1:30pm Tai Chi and Qiong, Fernery Lawn, Pukekura Park.
- Wednesday 12 12:15pm Mindful walking in Pukekura Park, meet at Tea House.1pm Circus workshop, Fernery Lawn, Pukekura Park,
- 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.
For information about activities phone Sharron 06-759 4064 or 027 404 1892. Visit www.mhaw.nz(external link) for details of nationwide events.
For other queries contact: Tessa Milne, MHAS Team Leader, Tui Ora 06 759 4064 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Foy, Communications Advisor, Tui Ora 06 759 4064, 027 351 6803 or email@example.com