Mental Health Awareness Week with SWAT

Mental Health Awareness Week with SWAT

2020 has been a year full of change and challenges, so our Student Wellbeing and Awareness Team (SWAT) is using this myView blog post to reiterate the fundamentals of wellbeing this Mental Health Awareness Week. 

Nia Gendall, Jordan Schulde, and Shaleena Ravji from the Student Wellbeing Awareness Team (SWAT)

2020 has been a year full of change and challenges, so our Student Wellbeing and Awareness Team (SWAT) is using this myView blog post to reiterate the fundamentals of wellbeing this Mental Health Awareness Week

Everyone has mental health—ranging from good, to poor, to everything in between. We tend to focus our attention on physical health but it’s important to take care of our mental health too. Mental Health Awareness Week is a great time to draw our attention to why it is important to look after this aspect of our health. 

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week visual identity focuses on all the great things about New Zealand.

Sir Mason Durie’s Te Whare Tapa Whā model of health explains aspects of a person’s wellbeing, emphasising the connection that each element has to the other. The model consists of the following elements: 

  • Mental and emotional—Te Taha Hinengaro
  • Spiritual—Te Taha Wairua
  • Land, roots—Whenua
  • Physical—Te Taha Tinana
  • Family/social—Te Taha Whānau

If just one of the wellbeing elements suffers, it can impact on the others, leaving you feeling unbalanced. When considering how we can support our mental health and what our self-care strategy is, it is crucial to add in an activity that can support all the elements of Te Whare Tapa Whā. Not only does this help you, but it allows you to help other people and model healthy behaviours for our peers. 

The SWAT team is here to help on campus with student wellbeing. Check out our Facebook page!

The University has some great resources for helping with mental health and wellbeing. During the first lockdown, the Student Wellbeing team released a series of online resources that can help inform our wellbeing strategies. We in the SWAT team recommend the modules to all students as a great thing to have in your mental health kit.   

Us humans are creatures of habit, so I encourage you to actively create your own self-care strategy. Let’s look after our mental health as much as we do our physical health. Not just for Mental Health Awareness Week, but for every week. What will you do when each element of your wellbeing needs nourishment?

Nia Gendall, Jordan Schulde, and Shaleena Ravji are all current Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington Students. They are also leaders of the SWAT team.

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