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April 30, 2018 | by  | in Ngāi Tauira Opinion |
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Te Ara Tauira

“He kokonga whare e kitea, he kokonga ngākau e kore e kitea.” “A corner of a house may be seen and examined but not so the corners of the heart.” This whakataukī supports our kaupapa of mental health, as it can relate to the current struggle of knowing someone who is suffering from mental illness.

In the 2012/13 New Zealand Health Survey, one in six New Zealanders had been diagnosed with a common mental disorder. The survey showed that the suicide rate for men was 2.7 times higher than for women in 2013/14. In the same survey, statistics showed that Māori had a higher risk of suicide than non-Māori. Māori were 1.7 times as likely to have experienced psychological distress than non-Māori. However, there are many support services in New Zealand that are continuing to reach out to Māori and to help Māori with their mental health issues.

Here at Victoria University, there are a number of support services available for all students. The biggest challenge is to get our tauira to come along and try out these free services. As a tauira myself, it can be difficult to step out of my comfort zone and to reach out to these support services because of the judgement that might come with it. But don’t think you have to deal with it on your own.  

At Mauri Ora, there are free wellbeing workshops that focus on different topics each month to improve your mental wellbeing. As an ambassador of mental wellbeing at Victoria University, I hope to encourage more tauira to take advantage of these services, and to start a new journey of hauora, with support backing them all the way.

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