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April 29, 2019 | by  | in News |
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Mud and Mental Health, VUW Students Supporting Gumboot Friday

Gumboot Friday was a recent national effort to bring awareness to mental health issues and depression, through wearing gumboots. A video was created by Victoria University students to encourage people to take part.


Gumboot Friday was held on April 5, with Kiwis all around the country taking part, not only to increase mental health awareness, but also to raise money for free kids counselling.


“Living with depression is like walking through mud, every day” is the main concern of Mike King, mental health advocate and New Zealander of the Year, who wanted to use the initiative to encourage as many New Zealanders as possible to wear gumboots, to “walk in the mud with them”.

Ngāi Tauira led the creation of a montage of VUW students, from many walks of university life, wearing gumboots and going about their daily life.  

In an official statement, Ngāi Tauira Co-President, Te Mahara Swanson-Hall said that “Ngai Tauira acknowledges that many of our whānau, friends, and students are dealing with mental health issues”.

She continued, “We wanted to create something together that was positive and uplifting and showed solidarity with Mike King’s kaupapa “Gumboot Friday”. We know that one video isn’t going to solve the issue of mental health in Aotearoa but if at least one person watches it and feels that they aren’t alone then that was a message worth promoting”.

“Because at the end of the day some of us got to take those gumboots off after filming and some of us did not. Mental Health issues are a real-life battle every day for our people. And this video was for them”.

VUWSA Engagement Vice President Puawai Waller expressed the association’s support for Gumboot Friday, saying that, “We hope that each person who attends Vic, has the support in place to help them throughout their journey at university and if they don’t we want to help them find that.”

She described the event as “a day to come together and contribute in a positive way to an issue that is affecting so many people within Aotearoa.”

“No student is simply a number in a statistic,” she concluded.


More info can be found at ^

The ‘Gumboot Friday’ video can be found on the Ngāi Tauira Facebook page

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