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27 September – 3 October 2021
Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) starts on Monday and its theme is Mā te korero - Through conversation, comes wellbeing – and is focused on how a little chat can go a long way. To mark the importance of this week, we are looking at what is involved in marking this with the attention and respect that it deserves. MHAW has been run annually by the Mental Health Foundation since 1993 and is also endorsed by the World Federation for Mental Health, marked in over 150 countries at different times of the year.
In 2021 the MHAW is all about connecting with people in our lives and making space for conversations that show that we care. Whether it’s getting together with friends or a hello to a stranger, a little chat can go a long way towards making someone else feel more positive and know that they’re not on their own – there are people out there who care and who are willing to listen.
This year, the theme has been selected because it is the little, everyday conversations that we have that are surprisingly important and do make a difference. Green is the colour for 2021, and green face masks seem a particularly appropriate way to make the statement of support for Mā te korero 2021.
In your workplace, having a Health and Wellbeing Policy is an excellent way to build a positive and healthy workplace. It also assists you, as an employer, to proactively demonstrate your commitment to the health and wellbeing of your employees. We spend such a large percentage of our time at work, and businesses that create a work environment where employees’ physical and mental wellbeing is considered to have lower absenteeism, fewer injuries, and experience higher productivity overall. Such cultures of support are also good for both attracting and retaining employees.
If you do not currently have a Health and Wellbeing Policy specifically for your organisation, go to EQ’s HR Today Resources / Document Templates site and you will find a sample in the Policies tab.
So next week, make the time to kōrero with others, creating those connections that create meaningful connections, help us to understand each other better and ensure that we have people that we can count on when we need to.