Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand

Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand


Today, we're spotlighting Travis Ovalsen, our top fundraiser for Auckland Marathon. Travis is doing his first full marathon in just a few weeks in honour of his mate Zane, who took his own life. Travis is spurred on by the quote, "You are capable of more!", which is why he's using the marathon to raise funds for the Mental Health Foundation.

We wish the best of luck to Travis and all the other 663 runners who are tackling the Auckland Marathon on Sunday 30 October and Moving for Mental Health.

If you'd like to put your support behind them too, please make a donation at

Need to talk? The trained counsellors at 1737 are just a free phone call or txt away.

It's Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Awareness Week, so we're resharing this post from Nōku te Ao: Like Minds with some helpful tips on how to help fight the stigma against OCD and support a loved one living with OCD. 💜
Although is over for the year, reconnecting with the people and places that lift us up doesn't have to be. It's important to keep doing the things that keep us well all year round. We asked you what you did for your wellbeing during the week, and we loved your answers so much that we're sharing them to encourage and inspire others too.

What are you doing for your wellbeing beyond MHAW? We'd love to know!
Today is World Mental Health Day. It’s a day for us to affirm the work that is being done to protect and improve the mental health of our whānau and communities, to uplift the voices and rights of people with lived experience of distress and to advocate for all the building blocks to be in place within our society so we all can experience wellbeing.

The simple actions we’ve seen during Mental Health Awareness Week and beyond over the last two years – connecting with each other, taking time to give, tuning into the present moment – may be small, but have a big impact on our mental health. Today, take notice of what keeps you well and see if you can find a moment to do one small thing to give yourself a boost.
Now that Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 is over, we'd love to hear your thoughts. What did you enjoy about this year's MHAW and what do you think we could do better? Your feedback on things like the theme, resources, activities, and more helps us to evaluate the campaign and informs decisions about MHAW next year.

Complete the survey by 12pm Friday 21 October 2022 and you will go into the draw to win a $250 Prezzy Card voucher!

Fill in here:

🗣 Funding available 🗣

The Nōku te Ao: Like Minds Puna Pūtea | Social Action Grants are now OPEN for applications! 🎉

If you have a moemoeā or vision to challenge discrimination and unfair judgements towards our communities with mental distress or illness, our grants are for you!

We're awarding grants of between $10,000-$20,000 and $40,000 this year, for a total of $400,000 to distribute. We're funding mental health advocacy projects that challenge tired, old stereotypes about, and discrimination towards people with mental distress. Visit and apply now!
And just like that, Mental Health Awareness Week is over for the year! We want to say a huge thank you to the thousands of you who participated. Whether you got involved with an event, shared your story, reached out to a friend, entered a competition, used a resource or even just took one small step to reconnect with the people and places that lift you up – we see you and we are proud of you.

It's important to remember that MHAW isn't just one week out of the year. We hope you've been inspired this week to do the things that keep you well and boost your wellbeing, all year round. Arohanui 💜

[Image credit: Wayne Webb from Thriving Madly]
Today we're giving a big shout out to Early Bird Run Crew NZ, who held a run yesterday at 6am to raise funds for Mental Health Awareness Week.

"Early Bird Run Crew is a running club with a difference, born from a passion to improve mental and physical health as we emerge from the pandemic. We want to unite local communities to be happier and healthier, and encourage people of all abilities to join us for a run (or walk) to feel the physical and mental health benefits."

Shaun Robinson, our Chief Executive, agrees: "Physical activity plays a critical part in maintaining good mental health, combined with the social element that EBRC offers, I’d encourage people to join in on the fun."

Thank you for the support, Early Bird Run Crew! We're glad you took the chance to reconnect with yourself and others.

It's Day 5 of MHAW whānau, and our last theme for the week is reconnecting with nature. Studies show exposure to nature not only makes us feel better emotionally, it contributes to our physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. All the more reason to spend at least a small moment today outside!

We are so lucky to live in Aotearoa, filled with some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the world. Where is your favourite place outdoors? Have you got a plant you're proud of? What does your local park or beach look like?

We hope you've enjoyed the activities this week and have been able to reconnect with a few of the people and places that lift you up and give you a little boost to your wellbeing!

Three years ago, Situa Bureta decided she needed a change. She was uncomfortable in her own skin, with years of self-neglect holding her back physically and mentally. One night, a vulnerable conversation with her husband made it clear what she needed to do to get her health and wellbeing back on track. Since then, she's found peace by prioritising her physical, spiritual and emotional health 💜

Read Situa's story to be inspired by the power of reconnecting with yourself and those closest to you:
It's Day 4 of Mental Health Awareness Week, and today we're asking you to reconnect with your community! This includes all the people who live, work, and play around us. It’s the perfect time to sign up to be a volunteer or join a local community group, but it could also be as simple as making the effort to reconnect with the people you interact with every day. Small acts of kindness can make a big difference.

We'd love to see the big and small ways you connect with the people and places around you in your daily life, tell us below!

Be in to win with Mental Health Awareness Week and Flight Centre New Zealand! ❤️✈️

We’ve got a $1000 Flight Centre gift card up for grabs to help you reconnect with those special places and people that lift you up.

To enter, simply tell us who you’d like to reconnect with and where you would want to go…👇

Giveaway ends 16:59, 30 September 2022 (NZT). Winner will be announced on our Facebook and Instagram stories. T&Cs apply.
We're nearly halfway through Mental Health Awareness Week already! Today, we're encouraging you to reconnect with a special place. Most of us have places we can go that calm, inspire or uplift us. Today, make time to go to a place that is special to you and take notice of how you feel when you are there. For some of us, the special place that comes to mind might be out of reach - perhaps it’s overseas, or too far away to get to. Even if we can’t get there right now, there are ways that we can reconnect with the places that lift us up. This post has a few ideas on how you can do that.

Show or tell us your special places below 👇

Kōtukutuku Papakāinga is a housing complex, a refuge, and a healing space for its tenants. Located in South Auckland, it was designed and developed to empower and support whānau to connect to not only themselves and each other, but to have a sense of home.

We were blown away by the extraordinary vision, mission and determination of the Mahitahi team to bring the taonga of Kōtukutuku Papakāinga to life. Their story is a simple yet powerful reminder about the power of connection, and proof of what can be achieved when it's embedded in the care of tāngata whaiora whānau. Check it out here:

Ata mārie! It's Day 2 of Mental Health Awareness Week. We hope you were able to take a moment to reconnect with yourself yesterday.
Today is about reconnecting with the people in our lives – it could be someone special who you have lost touch with or just wish you caught up with more often. Over the past few years, it's been tricky to stay in touch with and connect with many of the people we care about, so today we hope you feel prompted to say hello to someone you haven't spoken to in a while.

Looking for some feel-good tunes to spring into Mental Health Awareness Week? We've partnered with Spotify and our community to put together this week's Listen Local: MHAW. Filled with uplifting tracks from local artists, this playlist will give you a boost this week and beyond. 💜

Happy listening!

Making mental health everyone's business


Kia ora koutou! The MHF whānau is signing out for the year. We're wishing you all Meri Kirihimete and want to acknowledge that this time of year can be full of joy for some and difficult for others. However you're feeling or whatever your circumstances are, we hope you take the time to look after your wellbeing and do things that make you feel good.

Our Resource and Information Service is closed until Monday 16th January 2023. If you need help now, visit

Wishing you all safe and happy holidays!


Keeping up with cost of living increases is making life difficult for many of us right now. You may be feeling stressed about your finances or ability to pay the bills, especially as we head into the holiday season. Feeling all sorts of emotions is normal in difficult times.

Our new resource is full of ideas and tips on how to deal with financial stress and take care of your wellbeing in the process. Download it here:


We're kicking off our series of summer wellbeing tips by sitting down to chat with clinical psychologist Jacqui Maguire. Jacqui shares some advice for getting through the holiday season this year – including checking in with your expectations, boundaries and budgets, and 'name it to tame it'.

Read Jacqui's tips here:


E kore au e ngaro, he kākano i ruia mai i Rangiātea.
I will never be lost, I am a seed descended from Rangiātea.

The Royal Commission Inquiry into Abuse in Care recently released its first full report ‘Beautiful Children’, on the Lake Alice psychiatric child and adolescent unit in the Manawatū. The report looks into the abuse, harm, trauma and neglect experienced by tamariki and rangatahi in the unit between 1972 and 1980.

It’s an upsetting read and a shameful reminder of how so many young lives were harmed through the actions of people that should have cared for them and by government failures to keep them safe. We must make sure our services are places of healing, care and aroha, and that this injustice and harm is not repeated.


Did you know being judged or discriminated against for living with mental distress or illness can affect someone’s access to employment, housing, good healthcare or even insurance claims?

What mental health storytellers report, and the way they report it, has real-life consequences for people living with mental distress in Aotearoa.

If you work in the media, we’d love to work with you! Together, we can bust false, yet common stereotypes and uncover what it’s really like to live with mental distress. Doing this work will help end discrimination against the one in five New Zealanders who experience mental distress each year.

Download our factsheets to help guide you! These factsheets cover reporting on mental illness and violent crime, keeping your interviewees with mental distress or illness safe, and the latest mental health-related statistics in Aotearoa.


Remember, it's often the free, everyday things that bring us the most joy and create lifelong memories - like taking the family on a local roadie or grabbing some fish and chips with mates at the beach. Head to to order your free poster packed with summer wellbeing ideas, or have a play with its interactive version online!


Are you a journalist or content creator sharing mental health stories? Have you ever worried about whether your interviewees or participants feel safe and supported through the process, but weren’t sure what support to offer or where to start?
Our safe storytelling factsheet provides pointers and key questions to ask yourself and your interviewees, including what to share and why.
Telling mental distress stories in a safe and empowering way can shift public attitudes and help end judgements towards people living with mental distress or illness.
Download our factsheet for best-practice storytelling and safety pointers at the link below 👇


Have you or a friend or whānau member ever been subjected to compulsory assessment or treatment under the Mental Health Act and had your decisions about care and treatment overridden?

The Law Commission is reviewing our laws on adult decision-making and you can have your say from now until 3 March 2023.

The MHF will be making a submission and we will publish this early next year to share with you. Until then, you can learn more and make your own submission on their website at


New year, new job? We're looking for a talented social media whiz with a flair for creative storytelling!

We’re searching for a social media content creator to help us grow and nurture our social media community, level up our content, and ensure we stay on top of the latest trends. If you know how to create engaging content across TikTok, Instagram, Meta, Snapchat, and more, and want to use your skills to make a positive difference for people in Aotearoa, this is the role for you.

This is a new role that sits in our digital marketing team and is responsible for developing and implementing our organic social media strategy, creating compelling content including video, moderating all social posts, responding to direct messages, and testing and optimising different social media channels to suit our audiences.

As our social media content specialist, you’ll work across all areas of our mahi including wellbeing promotion, bullying prevention and su***de prevention. You’ll create content that touches hearts and minds, tells the story of our work, and supports people through the ups and downs that life brings.

If you can make our social media shine, and are curious, creative, and collaborative we’d love to hear from you!

Closing date for applications is Tuesday January 10, 2023, at 5 pm. As our office will be closed over the holiday period, there will be no correspondence until after the closing date.

For more information and to apply, visit


Do you work in the media? Do you have all the facts and stats you need for your mental health-related reporting?
We’ve compiled all the latest numbers on mental distress and illness in Aotearoa, so you don’t have to.
Download our free factsheet below!


Get your calendars out – we’re happy to let you know that Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) 2023 will be held 18-24 September 2023! To stay tuned for news about the theme, resources, activities and ways to get involved, make sure you’re following us and have signed up for updates at See you next year!


We’re excited to bring you this summer’s All Sorts campaign, reminding us that it’s often the simple, everyday things that can bring us the most joy – like taking whānau on a local roadie or grabbing some fish and chips with mates at the beach. Throughout the coming months, keep an eye out for more tips, ideas, and resources to boost your wellbeing this summer! Bring these friendly reminders into your home or work with our posters, now available to order from


Feel Good With Flowers is exactly what it sounds like, an organisation that strives to make people feel good with flowers. They celebrate and advocate for the New Zealand flower industry and with their 'Peonies with a Purpose' campaign, also for mental health in New Zealand. With the New Zealand Peony Society keenly behind them, Feel Good With Flowers donated $1 to the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) for every bouquet with peonies purchased through participating retailers for the first two weeks of November.

"Not only are they such a beautiful flower, but they are just coming into bloom when the campaign goes live. The flower also symbolises hope, so it’s a perfect correlation with the campaign. It’s been proven that having blooms around improves mood, and I’ve seen it first hand, you’ll be up at 3am to go to the flower market and people are just buzzing seeing all the flowers," says Thai-Anh from Feel Good With Flowers.

Read our full conversation here:

We're grateful to have the support of the team and are excited for next year's season of blooms! 💐


Mental health challenges are common – around half of us will experience mental distress or illness in our lifetimes. Despite this, repetitive and incorrect links are drawn between mental health conditions and violence in the media.

Living with mental distress doesn’t necessarily make someone violent, dangerous or unpredictable – but media storytelling based on false stereotypes can make people believe otherwise. These narratives can leave people feeling isolated, reinforce discrimination against them and decrease the likelihood they’ll seek help during their toughest times.

Do you work in the media? Let’s change these false narratives together.
Download and read our free crime and mental distress factsheet at the link below 👇


Tēnā koutou!

We would love for you to join us in a series of online hui this week to kōrero or talanoa about how to make Aotearoa a more inclusive place for all, including people who experience mental distress or illness.

We're running hui on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday this week, focused on lived experience of Māori, Pasifika, and rainbow/takatāpui. Find a Zoom for you:

If a hui is not your thing, you can fill out our anonymous online survey to share your experiences of mental distress judgement and discrimination and your vision for a fairer Aotearoa.

Fill out the survey:

Ngā mihi nui, thank you, from the Nōku te Ao: Like Minds Social Movement partners.


Sign up now for our free workplace wellbeing workshops in 2023!

Improve mental health and wellbeing in your workplace with our free workshops, designed for managers, health and safety leaders and HR professionals. Our experienced trainers will come to your organisation to deliver a three-hour interactive workshop, or if preferred the session can be delivered online.

During the workshops, organisations will be equipped with practical skills and knowledge to create a mentally healthy workplace by exploring concepts such as Te Whare Tapa Whā and the Five Ways to Wellbeing. By attending these workshops, participants will become more confident in talking about mental health at work, and will learn how to support someone who is struggling with their mental health.

If you would like us to deliver a workshop to your organisation, and have 20 to 50 employees available to attend, get in touch with [email protected]z.


Ipsos research release tile

This morning, our Chief Executive Shaun Robinson spoke to Tova O’Brien on Today FM New Zealand about new research by Ipsos, revealing that levels of distress, depression, stress and suicidality are alarmingly high for all New Zealanders – especially those aged 18-34.

In the past year 73% of young people felt stressed to the point they felt they could not cope; 63% felt sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more; 51% felt stressed to the point they could not go to work; and 40% felt suicidal or considered self-harm. Statistics for people aged 35-49 are also concerning, with 61% saying they’ve felt stressed to the point they could not cope, and 30% feeling suicidal.

These survey results are a massive wake-up call for all politicians and those leading the transformation of mental health in Aotearoa New Zealand. Our politicians and health leaders should have taken decisive action years ago. They did not.

Mental health has been misunderstood, neglected, and mismanaged by successive governments and the Ipsos research shows we are reaping the consequences. As we approach the General Election in 2023, we are challenging all political parties to publicly show:

- A full understanding of mental health – from the causes of mental distress, to healthy lifestyles that drive wellness, to innovative approaches to support and services.
- An agenda for change that addresses all the aspects of mental health.
- A credible plan to put that agenda into action, with urgency.

We have recently released 12 actions for politicians to adopt in next year’s mental health policies, which advise on these three points. These 12 actions give New Zealanders a chance to assess our country’s future leaders against the likelihood they’ll make the changes in the mental health system we all need to see.

You can read the research report here:

Our call to politicians:

Te Ao Mārama, Episode 98 17/11/2022

Te Ao Mārama, Episode 98

Interested in hearing about a programme gathering insights about how/where mental distress discrimination happens in NZ? Te Ao Mārama has the first coverage of the Nōku te Ao Social Movement, find out more about this burgeoning mental health movement here: (10mins in) via Te Ao Māori News
Hapai Te Hauora - Maori Public Health Nōku te Ao: Like Minds

Te Ao Mārama, Episode 98 Whakaata Māori flagship weeknight news programme. Presented by Peata Melbourne.


When Saints Fitness gym owners and brothers Ash and Aaron McConville created an epic fundraising challenge to do a 45 minute workout every four hours for 48 hours, they knew it would push their members hard. What they didn't anticipate was how the bonds of mateship of the gym members would grow into something much stronger and healthier.

We spoke to Ash about the challenge that raised over $68K for the Mental Health Foundation - check out what he had to say here:


E tini, e te mano, tēnā rā koutou katoa.
We are growing our team and are looking for more kaimahi to be part of our Māori Engagement team as a Pouārahi - Māori Engagement Specialist, helping lead MHF’s responsiveness to Māori.

The MHF has an ongoing commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi through guiding and prioritising our work to support the wellbeing of Māori. If you have strong knowledge of te ao Māori, including te reo me ōna tikanga, and you’re keen to step up and make a positive change to the mental health and wellbeing of Māori, we want to hear from you.

For more information, visit


The Mental Health Foundation's Resource and Information Service (RIS) provides a variety of public services, tools and content, including helping people navigate mental health services, our library, distributing mental health sector news and research through the E-Bulletin newsletter, offering digital and print resources in our shop and sharing content and information on our website.

We'd love to hear what you think about our work and how we can better help you find useful mental health information. The survey is open to everyone, even if you haven’t used our services. It takes just 10 minutes to complete and to thank you for your time, we have a $100 Prezzy voucher up for grabs!

Take the survey here and share with your friends and networks:


AKL marathon

We want to give a huge thank you and congratulations to the many runners who took part in the Auckland Marathon recently and raised money for Mental Health Foundation along the way.

They braved some terribly wet weather to smash their fitness goals as well as their fundraising goals, and together they have raised $125,853 to support better mental health.

Check out this short video to see their incredible effort.

If you missed out, it's not too late to show your support and help us reach our $150K target. Donate now at


A literature review carried out by the University of Otago into perspectives on compulsory treatment has found there's little research in Aotearoa into the affects on the people subjected to it.

The MHF believes these findings are worrying for anyone involved in reshaping our mental health legislation. Read the full report at our link in bio.

Videos (show all)

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Mental Health Awareness Week
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Kristina Cavit - guided meditation
Welcome to Mindfulness Month!
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Want to learn more about where the concept of the Month Done journals for #mindfulnessmonthNZ came from?Stephen McCarthy...
Pink Shirt Day - Speak up, stand together, stop bullying!
All Sorts: Five ways to wellbeing
Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission




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