The invisible illness


Image: CC0 – Pixabay

This post by Rose Edgar, Advisor, Disability Services

With the recent death of news presenter Greg Boyed, it again highlights the need for mental illness to be out in the open. We have come a long way from years gone by, but it is still something that needs to be on our radar.

In 2017, the New Zealand Health Survey found that 1 in 6 adults will be diagnosed with some form of mental illness in their lifetime. However, we are still hesitant to talk to our friends about it.

Coming out of winter, we have seen a lot of colds and flu going around. We feel compassion for those who are sick. We reeadily empathise with someone who has a cold and  don’t question why they might stay at home to recover. Winter is also the time where mental illness is at its highest. Are we checking up on our friends who seem to be missing class, stopped hanging as much, are more distant?

You might think that someone is just stressed with course work or their job, but it might be something else. Start up a conversation, let them know you are there to listen. Even just knowing that you care can make a huge difference to someone. Have a read of these 15 things you should never say to someone with depression and what to say instead.

If you are concerned about yourself or someone else, please reach out. At Ara, you can talk to any one of the staff who will point you in the right direction. Disability Services can help if you need to chat or need someone to advocate on your behalf. The Health Centre has nurses available and can refer you for free counselling.  Student Central has advisors who can support you and help with your needs. Duncan Dunbar, the Student advocate is a registered counsellor and is happy to support in a range of situations from everyday life problems through to addiction and legal matters.

Other services:

free phone/text to connect with mental health professionals

298 Youth Health
03 943 9298/ 021 081 2991
0800 111 757 – 24 hour helpline
text: 4202

0800 543 354

Mental Health Foundation


Lets get moving

It’s that time of the year when pressure starts to build. The end of the year is fast approaching and you have so much to do to prepare for it and I’m not even mentioning christmas. I have found when I am stressed exercise helps. You don’t have to spend loads joining the gym, just start walking and incorporate that into your week.

After going for a walk with my daughter yesterday in the neighbourhood (to get some bread) I felt so much lighter in my mood. During the walk we said hello to various people, patted a couple of dogs and even spied a bush with a smiley face manicured into it (no really its true!). Get moving, I promise it will make you feel better.

Bog pictures walking people-2591646_960_720



Mental Health Awareness Week 9-15 October

Mental Health Awareness Week 9–15 October 2017

World Mental Health Day 10 October

Nature is Key

Nature is key

“We’re encouraging Kiwis to stop thinking of nature as something locked away in national parks and forests but as the daisies on the berm, the tree outside the window and the vast, beautiful sky above.”

Research has shown that spending time in nature is great for mental and physical health. Spending time in nature:

  • Makes us happier and more optimistic.
  • Restores us when we’re feeling run-down.
  • reduces stress.
  • Improves concentration.
  • Improves life satisfaction.

On World Mental Health Day (10 October), we’re encouraging employers to lock their staff out of the office for an hour and give them the opportunity to connect with the ordinary nature around their workplace.

Ara is supporting the lockout, so join fellow students abd staff members outside the CPSA building/C block lawn for games, speed meet, activities and food from 11.30am-1.30pm.

Connect with others

  • Take part in the  Photo-a-day Challenge
  • Enjoy Yoga at Cathedral Square from 12.00pm – 1.00pm on 9th October
  • Join in the School of Wellbeing activities. Check out all the information on Campus Life here