Mental Health Foundation's powerful coronavirus message to Kiwis

  • 19/03/2020

The Mental Health Foundation has a simple message for New Zealand amidst the COVID-19 outbreak: "We will get through this if we work together."

The charity organisation on Thursday launched a new online resource to help those whose mental health has suffered as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The resource is a guide to looking after one's own wellbeing while coping with the threat of coronavirus and the fear, stress and anxiety the outbreak has caused.

"It's a tense time for most of us. COVID-19 is scary, and it’s rapidly changing the way we work, socialise, travel, access healthcare, exercise, shop and live," the Mental Health Foundation resource reads.

"The number one message we want New Zealanders to hear is this: we will get through this if we work together. Connecting with people who make you feel safe and loved is the most important thing you can do to look after your mental health.

"'Self-isolation' or staying at home makes this difficult, but not impossible. We're going to have to get creative."

The charity also acknowledges it's a particularly difficult time for those who live with mental illness, and has produced a list of its top wellbeing tips to help people through this period of uncertainty.

Mental Health Foundation's top tips to get through

  • Find ways to connect. Writing emails that share a favourite memory, playing video games with mates, playing online scrabble or other board games, joining or starting a virtual book club, sharing a favourite karakia or waiata with your friends on social media.
  • Find ways to take notice. Take time to feel the sun on your skin, breathe in fresh air whenever you can, make a list of what you’re grateful for, take the time to thank someone for how they make you feel.
  • Find ways to be active. Play 'the floor is lava' with the kids, do a yoga class online, try out a new workout on YouTube, go for walks or runs outside (just stay 2m away from others!), use the cans in the pantry as weights, stretch.
  • Find ways to give. Give compliments, think about a skill you have you could share, share a favourite recipe, let people know you're there to help, check in on neighbours and members of your community who may need a cheery voice or helping hand.
  • Find ways to keep learning. Pick a question you’ve always wondered about and take some time to look it up, call your parents or grandparents and ask them questions about life when they were growing up, research your whakapapa or family tree.