Stress and anx­i­ety up world­wide

South Canterbury Herald - - FRONT PAGE - RACHAEL COMER

A Ti­maru coun­sel­lor is urg­ing oth­ers to look after their men­tal health, as the re­gion cel­e­brates Men­tal Health Aware­ness Week.

This year’s theme is Na­ture Is Key. The week runs from Oc­to­ber 9 to 15, with a va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties hap­pen­ing in South Can­ter­bury.

Coun­sel­lor and New Zealand As­so­ci­a­tion of Coun­sel­lors re­gional rep­re­sen­ta­tive Chris­tine Macfar­lane said as part of the week men­tal health coun­sel­lors urged New Zealan­ders to get an emo­tional health ‘war­rant of fit­ness’.

‘‘We need to be check­ing in on our­selves and our men­tal and emo­tional well­be­ing,’’ Macfar­lane said.

‘‘We also need to check in with each other.’’

Macfar­lane said stress and anx­i­ety was in­creas­ingly be­ing felt by peo­ple through­out the world and she said South Can­ter­bury was no dif­fer­ent.

‘‘There is more stress in the world,’’ she said.

‘‘There are more and more things peo­ple are ex­pected to do. There has def­i­nitely been an in­crease in anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion over the past 15

‘‘We also need to check in with each other.’’

years.’’

She said it was good for peo­ple to learn the skills and tools they needed to face dif­fi­cult times in their lives.

As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Bev We­ber said men­tal health has a ma­jor im­pact on ev­ery­day lives and good men­tal health was vi­tal to a healthy life­style.

‘‘Just like you would see a doc- tor for a phys­i­cal check-up, you should do the same for your men­tal health and Men­tal Health Aware­ness Week is a good time to start.’’

She said pre­ven­tion is bet­ter than cure and that ap­plies to both phys­i­cal ail­ments and emo­tional and men­tal well­ness prob­lems.

The week’s theme was based around the `Five Nat­u­ral Ways to Well­be­ing’: con­nect, give, take no­tice, keep learn­ing and be ac­tive.

Ac­tiv­i­ties in South Can­ter­bury be­gan on Monday with a bar­be­cue and games ses­sion orig­i­nally planned to take place in the Ti­maru Botanic Gar­dens, which was moved to Vic­to­ria House be­cause of bad weather. On Wed­nes­day a na­tive plant­ing will take place at Arowhenua wet­lands, Huirapa St, Te­muka, from 10.30am to 1pm.

Since 1993, The Men­tal Health Foun­da­tion has or­gan­ised the week un­der con­tract to the Min­istry of Health.

Ms We­ber said coun­selling helps with anx­i­ety, de­pres­sion, grief and loss, life changes and stress, re­la­tion­ships with fam­ily, friends and work col­leagues, trauma, abuse and bul­ly­ing, do­mes­tic and sex­ual vi­o­lence.

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