Ministry of Justice in Gisborne has won the Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) Workplace Challenge in 2018.
It was the first time Ministry of Justice in Gisborne had celebrated MHAW, Court Registry Officer Julie Hollamby says.
Together, the team at the Ministry of Justice realised the importance of looking after their mental health, and this was the highlight of the challenge for them.
"Mental health is as important as physical health – they run side-by-side. This week gave us time to pause and reflect on things that truly matter, such as nature and how to embrace it in our work environment,” Julie says.
“What a breath of fresh air it has been reconnecting with our surroundings and nature.”
Another highlight for the team was how taking part in the workplace challenge helped them to continue their te reo Māori journey as a workplace. Julie says her team is lucky to have their manager, Kaurauria Ruru, support staff through to learn te reo Māori.
“We were also very fortunate to have Te Aturangi Nepia-Clamp (an artist/carver) speak to us about Te Tauihu/the waka prow – this has stood outside the courthouse for many years, yet we never knew the significance. All staff who attended commented about how this changed their view on the carving, knowing what it really was about.”
Ministry of Justice Gisborne have won a $200 morning tea for up to 30 people with by submitting a stunning PowerPoint they created of their MHAW activities.
During MHAW, the team held different activities that encompassed the Five Ways to Wellbeing, the Maramataka and/or Māori ancestral knowledge.
- Monday (Connect): Took breaks together to talk and listen to each other and build on collegial relationships.
- Tuesday (Keep Learning): Learnt to write their pepeha and learnt the significance of Te Tauihu, a prow sculpture located in Gisborne, from the carver himself.
- Wednesday (Take Notice): Replanted neglected pot plants.
- Thursday (Be Active): They have a 'Get Fit' programme held every second night and alternating lunch times.
- Friday (Give): They regularly supply free breakfast for children at low decile schools who often attend without breakfast.
Staff shared they saw MHAW as an opportunity to discuss mental health more frankly and openly in the workplace, and Julie knows these new attitudes will stay with the team and be regularly incorporated into their work days.