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Southern residents encouraged to ‘Let nature in’ during Mental Health Awareness Week

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Let nature in, strengthen your wellbeing – Mā te taiao, kia whakapakari tōu oranga’ is the theme for this year's Mental Health Awareness Week from 8 to 14 October - a challenge to Southern residents to get out and enjoy the fabulous environment we live in and feel the benefits nature brings.
“Research shows that connecting with nature is great for mental and physical wellbeing,” says Southern DHB Health Promotion Advisor – Mental Health and Addictions, David Pirie.

“The message from the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand is to apply the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ (Connect, Keep Learning, Take Notice, Be Active and Give) to your everyday life. These are things we can all do that will make a huge difference to our mental health and wellbeing. Regardless of how much or little you interact with nature, you can make them work for you!”

During the week a host of fantastic events and activities all based on the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ are on offer across the district ranging from presentations to workplaces to community events such as walks, shared lunches, yoga, meditation, drumming and mindfulness sessions, interactive murals, the play Mental Notes 2.0, and sports tournaments. Details of just a few some of the many events are below.

For more information on Mental Health Awareness Week and for further details of activities happening across the district go to

Anyone wanting support for their mental health needs should contact their GP who can refer to other services if needed.  If you need to talk free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor. Anyone needing mental health support urgently in the Southern district can call Emergency Psychiatric Services at any time on 0800 467 846.

Other useful numbers:

  • Lifeline 0800 543 354
  • Youthline 0800 376 633 or free txt 234 or email
  • Suicide Prevention Hotline 0508 828 865

Events in Dunedin

Events in Invercargill

Events in Oamaru

Events in Queenstown