Mental Health Awareness Week celebrates the power of giving

21 Sep, 2015


The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) is bringing back Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) once again in 2015 – from 5 – 11 October. The theme this year is GIVE – Give your time, your words, your presence.

“Improving wellbeing is important for everyone, regardless of whether or not you have a mental illness,” says MHF acting chief executive, Hugh Norriss.

“People are often surprised to find that doing little things like giving up your seat on the bus can have a lasting impact on your mood and sense of wellbeing.”

GIVE is one of the Five Ways to Wellbeing. Kiwis are one of the highest givers of their time through volunteering and helping others in the OECD.

“As well as volunteering, just small every day acts of giving can have a big impact, such as letting someone else in front of you in line at the supermarket, smiling at strangers, complimenting a friend. When we give we feel happier, feel more positive about life and other people, and are more likely to trust and cooperate with others,” Mr Norriss says.

“Not only that, but when you give you inspire others to behave generously – they pay it forward. It’s a really generous way to look after yourself!”

Of course, MHAW is also an opportunity to acknowledge and support the one in five New Zealanders who will experience a mental illness each year.

Events celebrating MHAW are being held all around New Zealand – find out what’s happening in your area with the MHAW calendar.

Kids can participate in MHAW by entering the official colouring competition, with the opportunity to win one of three $50 prezzy cards.

For more information about MHAW, including what events are being held in your area, how to get involved, and research about the value of giving, see the website:


For further information or comment, please contact:

Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand
Phone: 09 623 4810 ext 811
Mobile: 021 740 454