On 1 July 2021, the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment provided a $3 million, two-year fund to support mental wellbeing in Southern communities worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
The fund is part of the Government’s Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery, and Re-Set Plan and is administered through Te Whatu Ora Southern, with the guidance of Te Hau Toka. It focuses on the tourism-dependent Queenstown Lakes and Fiordland communities, however Te Hau Toka has also included Cromwell as many people work in the Queenstown Lakes area.
The investment is to be targeted at place-based support available from expert support personnel, and other support initiatives, such as community wellbeing events, and mental health first aid training.
Te Hau Toka is being guided by the national Kia Kaha, Kia Māia, Kia Ora Aotearoa: COVID-19 Psychosocial and Mental Wellbeing Plan. Priority communities identified by Te Hau Toka to be supported through this investment are:
- Youth and families/whānau
- Business owners/managers/leaders
- Migrant/ethnic communities
- New or expectant parents / perinatal
- Older people.
* The definition of mental wellbeing as per Ministry of Health released Sept 2021, ref p10: ‘Mental wellbeing’ is one component of broader wellbeing. Positive mental wellbeing is most likely when people feel safe, connected, valued, worthy and accepted and have a sense of belonging, identity and hope for the future. Mental wellbeing means being able to adapt and cope with life and life’s challenges and feeling that your life has meaning, as well as experiencing feelings of contentment or general happiness. Ideas about wellbeing differ among different populations, groups and individuals.