Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) is run annually by the Mental Health Foundation and has been since 1993.
MHAW is endorsed by the World Federation for Mental Health and is marked in over 150 countries at different times of the year.
In New Zealand, MHAW will be held on 23–29 September 2019 and the theme is:
Explore your way to wellbeing – Whāia te ara hauora, Whitiora.
This Mental Health Awareness Week we’re asking Kiwis across Aotearoa to explore their way to wellbeing – that means we want you to discover the things that make you feel good and do more of them! When you uplift your personal wellbeing, you uplift the wellbeing of your whānau, communities and Aotearoa as a whole.
Te Whare Tapa Whā
Mental Health Awareness Week is underpinned by Te Whare Tapa Whā, a model that describes health as a wharenui/meeting house with four walls. These walls represent taha wairua/spiritual wellbeing, taha hinengaro/mental and emotional wellbeing, taha tinana/physical wellbeing and taha whānau/family and social wellbeing. Our connection with the whenua/land forms the foundation.
The poster design
We're honoured to have artist Graham Tipene from Ngāti Whātua create the Māori spiral for this year's design.
The half circle at the top of the spiral is Ranginui/sky father and the spiritual realm. Connected to this is a pattern of unaunahi/fish scales which represent protection and strength, as well as abundance and wellbeing.
If the base triangle pattern is included in any of the design, this represents Papatūānuku. Papatūānuku is shown as a mountain that represents the journey of upward growth and striving to reach higher ground in mental wellbeing.
The photograph in the background was taken by New Zealand photographer, Paul C Shrader. The hand-drawing of the people was done by Mental Health Foundation staff member, Alexandria Green.
Through the design we want to acknowledge that it can feel tough to focus on wellbeing when you’re going through a difficult time, or when life is busy and stressful, but if we look up and explore we will find there are things we can each do to help ourselves, our colleagues, whānau and friends feel better and get the most out of life.
Te Reo Māori slogan
Whāia Te Ara Hauora: Search/discover/pursue the path of health. Whiti: To change, to discover, to explore, to shine, to shimmer, the rays of light from both the sun and moon. Whiti also represents a glimmer of light, enlightenment, understanding, resolution. Ora means health and wellbeing.
Whakataukī / Whakatauākī
Whakataukī are proverbs and poetic forms of Te Reo. Whakataukī are sayings that become settled over time, through constant repetition from the time they were was first exclaimed right up to the present day. The word whakataukī can be split into whaka (to cause), tau (to be settled) and kī (a saying). Whakataukī are used in a range of contexts in Māori such as whaikōrero to support the speaker in making a point and aligning the present with the wisdom of tīpuna/tūpuna.
A whakatauākī is a proverb where the original speaker is known.
The Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 Whakatauākī is:
E tūtaki ana ngā kapua
o te rangi, kei runga te
Mangoroa e kōpae pū ana
The clouds in the sky gather,
but above them extends the Milky Way.