• Local art exhibition opening launches Mental Health Awareness Week

Local art exhibition opening launches Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week has been launched in Hawke’s Bay with the opening of an art exhibition at Nga Rau Raukau, mental health services, Hawke’s Bay Hospital.

Deborah Grace, chair of the Partnership Advisory Group (PAG), opened the event by emphasising the need for the DHB and mental health services consumers to work together to improve the wellbeing of the community.

“Partnership”, she says, “is the key to building robust Mental Health and Addiction Services for Hawkes Bay residents.” 

Original art contributed by users of mental health services has been curated by PAG member, and artist, Deb Lee who says, “art provides a way in to find a way out,” for those living with mental distress. The exhibition includes visual and textual art pieces that Deb says, “fosters a sense of connection and understanding.”

Deborah Grace agrees, saying, “the ‘earth’ without art is just ‘eh’.”

Creativity is just one of the ways the Mental Health Foundation is encouraging New Zealand to “explore your way to wellbeing – Whaia te ara hauora, Whitiora” this week.

This year’s theme is based on the Maori health model Te Whare Tapa Wha that describes health as a wharenui/meeting house with the four walls of taha wairua/spritiual wellbeing, taha hinengaro/mental and emotional wellbeing, taha tinana/physical wellbeing and taha whanau/ family and social wellbeing, all supported by the foundation of the whenua/land.

DHB Service Director of Mental Health and Addiction services, David Warrington says, “Mental Health Awareness Week brings a worthwhile focus to mental wellbeing that should be celebrated. However, mental health issues are not just about one day, one week or one year, the challenges are ongoing and working in partnership with our community is vital to meeting those challenges.”

The exhibition will be on display at Nga Rau Raukau throughout Mental Health Awareness Week from 23-29 September.