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MHAW Challenge 2021

The Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) Challenge is all about encouraging you, your whānau, your workplace or school to get involved in this year’s theme: Take time to kōrero.

When it comes to wellbeing, a little chat can go a long way. That’s why each weekday of MHAW will have a daily challenge designed to get you having a kōrero in a different way. These challenges will reflect the daily theme as outlined in our MHAW Guide.

The MHAW Challenge Grand Prize winner will take home a Nikon Z 50 camera and a $500 Flight Centre voucher. Each day we will also choose a daily prize winner who will receive a collection of assorted gifts and treats – all donated from some of our wonderful fundraisers'.
How does it work?

  1. Register for Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) updates so we can keep you in-the-know with the latest information.

  2. Like or follow our Instagram and/or Twitter pages.

  3. Snap and share a photo based on the daily challenge. You’ll need to complete the activity outlined for each day below and then post a photo of activity on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #MHAWNZ. Make sure your profile is public so we can see your post. You can see the challenges below to get a head-start on planning your activities – we’ve outlined what we’ll be asking you to do each day. We’ll also be posting each challenge on Instagram and Twitter each morning.

    Rāhina / Monday: Look back through your photos and share a happy memory to reconnect with someone you’ve lost touch with.

    Rātu / Tuesday: Share a snap of how you’re having a kōrero in nature with us and let us know how it made you feel.

    Rāapa / Wednesday: Share a pic of how you're looking after one of your taha - as inspired by Te Whare Tapa Wha.

    Rāpare / Thursday: Share a photo and leave a comment of how you're doing something nice for someone and connecting through kindness today.

    Rāmere / Friday: Share a pic of how you’re catching up with others this Friday to reflect on the week – extra points if you include your kai!

  4. Upload your photo to your Instagram or Twitter account with the hashtag #MHAWNZ. Feel free to tag us as well!
    You’ll notice we’re not asking you to post on Facebook this year – in the past we’ve had a hard-time keeping track of entries on Facebook due to the way profiles are set up privately. We don’t want to miss any of your incredible submissions, so we’re keeping it simple and asking just for posts on Instagram and Twitter this year. You are of course welcome to post on Facebook, you just can’t enter the competition through Facebook.

  5. A winner will be picked each day by Mental Health Foundation (MHF) staff. The winning photo will be posted the following day on the MHF’s Instagram stories and on Twitter.

    Grand Prize winner! At the end of the five days, the MHF will choose the overall grand prize winner. This will be based on their involvement throughout the entire week - the grand prize winner must have taken part in all five days. The winner will receive a Nikon camera Z 50 and a $500 Flight Centre voucher!

    All prize winners will be contacted through social media, followed by a request to email their postage details to mhaw@mentalhealth.org.nz. These are our only official Instagram and Twitter handles, please be careful of scammers.

  6. For more information on the MHAW Challenge, check out our FAQs. You can also view our competition terms and conditions here



Reconnect with someone you care about / He hononga tangata, he hononga aroha


When life gets busy it’s easy to forget to check in with the people in our lives, butwe know connection is important for our wellbeing. Having a kōrero with others nurtures our relationships and helps us to feel happy, connected and secure.
Over time, these chats help us to understand each other better and ensure we have people we can count on when times are tough. Today we encourage you to reconnect with someone you care about. Whether it’s with whānau, friends, hoamahi/colleagues, iwi or community, a little chat can go a long way.

A few ideas for reconnecting:

  • Check in with whānau you haven’t spoken to in a while. Have a chat on the phone, send them a text or catch up kanohi ki te kanohi/face to face if you can. Ask them how they’re going and really listen.

  • Write a letter or email to your whānau sharing what you appreciate about them.
  • Look back through your photos and share a happy memory to reconnect with someone you’ve lost touch with.

  • Have a think about whether there is someone in your life who may be going through a tough time. Take time to kōrero and ask them how they are, empathise and listen. You can find more support for how to have a safe and supportive kōrero on page 16 of the Mental Health Awareness Week guide.





Get outside in nature with someone / E puta ki te taiao


It’s often the little things that bring us joy. The singing birds, the grass beneath our feet, the wind on our faces. Kōrero doesn’t have to happen indoors. Today we encourage you to get outside in nature with someone else. Take a moment to chat about the things that support your wellbeing and appreciate the beauty around you. You might be surprised by what you notice!

A few ideas for connecting in nature:

  • Have your lunch outside with a friend or hoamahi/colleague, take notice of the
    nature around you. Even if you work outdoors, it’s great to take a break and
    spend some quailty time together outside of your work space.

  • Connect with the whenua; grab some mates and get into the great outdoors - go on a bush walk, walk up your local maunga, breathe in the salty fresh air of the moana. Take time to kōrero and get to know each other whilst you’re there.

  • Head down to your local beach with a friend or whānau member and pick up any rubbish you come across. It’s a great way to spend quality time together outside and keep Aotearoa beautiful! Check out the Department of Conservation
    website for more ideas.

  • Take tamariki on a nature walk and get them to point out the things they see, smell and hear. Ask them how being in nature makes them feel. Or, head to the school field, park or your backyard and have tamariki lie on the grass and do this tummy breathing Sleeping Statues activity from the Sparklers website.

  • Have a cuppa and a kōrero in the garden with your whānau, listen to the birds, be present and enjoy each other’s company. You might like to take off your shoes and feel the grass beneath your feet.

  • Go outdoors, snap a photo of some nature that catches your eye and send it to someone to brighten their day.



Have a kōrero about Te Whare Tapa Whā/ Tōku Whare Tapa Whā


Now that we’re halfway through MHAW, why not use this day to explore your wellbeing through Te Whare Tapa Whā and have a kōrero with someone else about what you learn? Consider the four pou and think about the different ways you can boost your wellbeing.

A few ideas for exploring Te Whare Tapa Whā:

  • Learn about Te Whare Tapa Whā and its four dimensions of wellbeing. Reflect on which areas you feel are going well for you right now and which ones you need to focus on for your hauora/wellbeing. Share your thoughts with someone else.
  • If you’re in an office or shared workspace, get hoamahi together and have each corner of the room represent one of the four dimensions of Te Whare Tapa Whā. Ask them to stand in the corner of the dimension they feel is strongest for them at the moment. They might like to then share why they chose this dimension with the group.
  • Print out and fold this Chatterbox to encourage tamariki to have a kōrero about their wellbeing using Te Whare Tapa Whā.
  • Add a song to our MHAWNZ playlist on Spotify. It might be a song you love to work out to for your tinana, that uplifts your wairua, soothes your hinengaro, or a whānau favourite that you sing along to in the car!




Connect through kindness / Takohatia ki tētahi


When we do something nice for someone else, be it a friend, colleague or stranger, not only does it make them feel good, it gives our wellbeing a boost in return. Whether it’s a big gesture or just a smile, everyone has a little act of kindness to offer. Think about someone who might need some extra support right now, because today is all about giving: our time, our kindness, our aroha, our kōrero, to others.

A few ideas for spreading kindness:

  • Send a kind message to someone in your life and let them know you’re thinking of them
  • Visit a friend, neighbour or family member who could do with some company or tautoko/support. If you’re unable to visit, give them a call.
  • Volunteer your time to others in need – join a community group, pick up someone’s groceries or simply drop off a hot meal to someone who could do with a helping hand – not only will it create a moment to kōrero, it will give you and them a feel-good boost.
  • Make a kaimahi a cup of tea or bring in some biscuits and create a moment to kōrero in the lunchroom – look for opportunities to put a smile on someone’s face
  • Introduce yourself to a new parent at your child’s school, new kaimahi at your workplace or a new neighbour in your community. Ask them if there’s anything you can do to help them settle in.


Come together and reflect / Noho tahi, kōrero tahi


Come together with others at school, work or home, or find a moment on your own to reflect on the week just gone. Be present and take time to kōrero about the things you’ve learnt, and the wellbeing tools you’re going to continue with. What little chats have you had this week? How does connecting with others and talking openly about wellbeing make you feel?

A few ideas for reflecting together:

  • Try switching off the TV for a night and play a game with your partner or tamariki instead. You could even make music together, or just talk.
  • Organise a virtual dinner date. Set a time to eat and jump on a video call with someone else. Share kai, reflect on your weeks and chat about how you’re going to keep up the kōrero.
  • Plan a whānau activity day - create a moment to kōrero about what makes each person feel good and plan an activity that focuses on each of those things. It could be getting out in nature for a walk, cooking a favourite meal, or video calling a relative overseas. 
  • Share kōrero and kai with your team at work. Everyone bring a plate and chat about the things that you do to look after your wellbeing. If you’re working from home, have lunch and chat together over Zoom. Afterwards, have kaimahi fill in the wellbeing action plan at the end of the Mental Health Awareness Week guide to help them stay mentally healthy at work.
  • For tamariki, end the week with this How Am I Doing? activity by Sparklers. It’ll encourage them to think about their wellbeing and all of the things they already do to care for it.