Te Whare Tapa Whā
Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) 2020 was underpinned by Te Whare Tapa Whā, a model designed by leading Māori health advocate Sir Mason Durie in 1984.
The model describes health and wellbeing 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.
Over MHAW we explored each part of the wharenui and gave practical ideas for how you could reimagine your wellbeing so you, your whānau and Aotearoa can thrive. These ideas are relevant beyond the week and throughout the year.
Recharge with others: Whiria te muka tangata
Taha whānau is the people we care about, who recharge us and make us feel we belong. Whānau isn’t just our immediate relatives. It includes our friends, hoamahi/colleagues, iwi or community – the people who are close to our hearts.
How can you recharge with others?
Rediscover everyday wonder – Whāia ngā mīharotanga o ia rā
Wairua is about taking notice and appreciating the beauty around us. It’s about rediscovering things that make us feel awe, hope, strength, unity and connection. For some, wairua is faith or a higher power. Sometimes our wairua isn’t strong and we encourage you to think about what wairua means to you and ways to strengthen it. When your wairua is strong, it’s easier to feel good, cope with challenges and build strong whānau relationships.
How do you take notice and rediscover everyday things around you?
Return to nature – Hono ki te taiao
Whenua is our connection to the land. It’s soil, plants, animals and people – tangata whenua. It’s the earth through which you are connected to your tūpuna/ancestors. Whenua is a place of belonging and it’s comforting that it is never too far away.
Can you return to nature?
Refuel your body – Whakamarohi i tō tinana
Taha tinana is about how your body feels and how you care for it. Refuelling your body helps you to feel mentally well. Sometimes your tinana might not be where you’d like it to be and this might be beyond your control. What’s important is that you do what you can to nurture it.
How you can refuel your body?
Refresh your mind – Whāngaia tō hinengaro
Taha hinengaro is your mind, heart, conscience, thoughts and feelings. Just like your physical health, your hinengaro needs to be nurtured. Hinengaro is what you do to stimulate and refresh your mind so you can better cope with the ups and downs of life.
Can you take a moment to stimulate and refresh your mind?