Keep Learning in Upper Hutt for mental wellbeing

Mental Health Awareness Week, 6 – 12 October 2014, is being run by the Mental Health Foundation, with the theme of ‘Keep Learning.’ Upper Hutt City Council is raising awareness of the importance of the Keep Learning pillar and how its citizens can keep learning in Upper Hutt.

UPPER HUTT, Wellington NZ, 26 SEP 2014—“When did you last learn something new?” That is the question from the Mental Health Foundation this year leading up to Mental Health Awareness Week. The week runs from 6 to 12 October, with the theme of ‘Keep Learning, Whakatewhatewha.’ Keep Learning, Whakatewhatewha is seen as one of the pillars of healthy mental wellbeing along with several others, such as being active and giving.

According to the Mental Health Foundation website, simple things such as trying something new or rekindling an old hobby, doing different tasks at work, or learning a new recipe can all support mental wellbeing. Through diverse learning experiences, self-confidence and self-esteem can be boosted, as well as helping people connect with each other, strengthening social relationships, and building on a sense of purpose. They can also support cognitive development, increase life satisfaction, and lift people out of depression.

There are many activities happening in Upper Hutt that can support learning for all ages.

“There is such a great variety of groups in Upper Hutt to cater for all tastes within sports, crafts, music, culture, and arts,” says Community Development Advisor, Sofía Robinson. “Having a look in the Community Directory on the Council website is a great start to finding a group for you.”

To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week, there will be a display at the Upper Hutt Central Library made up of books, information, and programme guides that support wellbeing and learning new skills.

The library will also host a free seminar for community groups at 12.00 pm on 7 October which will be conducted by the Mental Health Foundation.

Research by the Mental Health Foundation indicates that almost half of all New Zealanders will experience a mental illness and/or an addiction at some time in their lives, with one in five people affected within one year. These statistics are in line with results from previous local surveys of youth and mature residents.

Upper Hutt City Council encourages people to access help and information around mental health and wellbeing from The Mental Health Foundation website (www.mentalhealth.org.nz), or by talking to their local GP or pharmacist. In addition, the Library has a pamphlet in the health section listing a recommended range of books on wellbeing.

To speak to someone for information or support, there are various agencies available such as Lifeline 0800 543 354, Suicide Prevention Helpline 0508 828 865, or Youthline 0800 376 633. In cases of emergency call 111 or go to the local Emergency Department.