Caring for yourself while caring for others

Five Ways, Five Days – that’s the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) this year, running from September 18-24. It’s an important time to reflect on the key role that mental health plays in our wellbeing. 

The first day of MHAW is focused on taking notice, encouraging mindfulness, and inviting us to be fully present in the moment. 

“In order to take care of others, you must take good care of yourself first. I make it a routine to ease work-related tension by cycling in tracks or parks while enjoying the view, playing basketball, enjoying good food and the little things in life once in a while,” shares NZTC Level 4 graduate Jho Magon. 

The benefits of giving with kindness and compassion is highlighted on the second day of MHAW as giving not only helps others but also enhances our own happiness and life satisfaction. 

“I aspire to give exceptional service and care to our senior citizens with the utmost respect. I firmly believe in honouring our elders, for we all journey towards becoming seniors one day.  

“I take pride in valuing and cherishing them, recognising their invaluable role as the cornerstone of families and nations. This gives me a sense of purpose and fulfilment in life,” says NZTC Level 3 graduate Indrani Vjithan. 

Physical activity is a potent mood booster, benefiting both the mind and body. Being active is highlighted for day three and graduate Samuel Bardewa knows the importance of this in uplifting his spirits first-hand. 

“I do regular running 2-3 times a week to keep myself fit and healthy which helps to reduce stress. I also spend time with my kids when I get home which makes me feel happy and helps me forget about any worries,” he says. 

The fourth way focuses on meaningful connections lying at the heart of wellbeing and nurturing happiness, while the final day and way encourages mental exercise and personal growth through learning. 

“There are always things to learn and my studies have made me think a lot deeper, not just how we do things in healthcare but why we do them, and how we can apply knowledge and skills gained to provide the best possible outcomes for our clients,” says Level 2 and 3 graduate Clare Batchelder. 

MHAW is underpinned by Te Whare Tapa Whā, a model designed by leading Māori health advocate Sir Mason Durie in 1984. Check out our downloadable Te Whare Tapa Whā resource HERE

Further information on MHAW 2023 can be found HERE