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September 27, 2010 | by  | in Opinion |
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Mental Health Awareness Week 2010

Kia whitianga te ra, ka hihi, ka whakamana, te ha, te ha, kia whai kikokiko, kia puawai te mauri
The sun arises with each new day; its rays beckon opportunities to all living things

Flourishing for everyBODY is the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, which is being held 4-10 October.

Over the last century or more, society’s focus on mental health has been on mental disorders, and either treating or preventing them—so much so that most people think about mental health only as a problem or something negative.

There are also many more stressors on mental health today, relating to increased pace and complexity of life.

Flourishing is a measure of mental health that has been developed within the last decade and can be used to determine the level of positive mental health in populations. When someone is flourishing they experience, most of the time, positive emotions, positive interest and engagement with world around them, and meaning and purpose in their lives. Evidence suggests that people who are flourishing are less at risk of physical and mental health problems and have better social relationships.

Flourishing is about focusing on the good things in life. It’s about the things we aspire to, both as individuals and as members of a wider community.

In Aotearoa/New Zealand we believe that—

  • EveryBODY has the right to participate and flourish in their community.
  • EveryBODY can contribute towards creating a flourishing community.
  • EveryBODY has the potential to feelgood and function well.

How can we flourish?

Think about how you, your family, friends and community might flourish. Key areas to focus on are positive emotions, engagement and interest, and meaning and purpose.
This year, join us to celebrate an extended Mental Health Awareness Week from 27 September with a VUWSA-organised Healthy Lifestyles Week which will include a range of activities to encourage a more healthy, positive and fun lifestyle.

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About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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