Online resource provides help with mental health struggles as Covid-19 impacts felt

By Regan Paranihi

Covid-19 has taken a big hit on people's livelihoods and now more than ever Kiwis are relying on mental health and wellbeing support to get them through these unprecedented times.

This is a movement Jase Te Patu has been using to help people align their mind, body and soul.

"I have lost five friends to suicide and just a couple of years ago my brother passed through health issues."

With the country facing the impacts of Covid-19, it has taken its toll on some Kiwis.

"That can only but cause anxiety and mental depression, especially taking a toll on their mental and emotional well-being.

"And because of my own personal background with suffering from mental health challenges in the past and what's happened with my friends passing from suicide, I decided to come up with this campaign."

Kawaiwhakaheke Winiata is a mental health survivor, after she took a turn for the worst when her mother passed away six months ago.

"I've been trying to find new learnings for a while now, while I have been dealing with the loss of my mother."

But she turned to health and whakapapa regimes to get her through the tough times.

"I turned to waka ama, to crossfit, as well as prayer.  I've learnt new prayers, new traditional chants, some songs to revive my spiritual state. Therefore, both of those elements have helped revive my mental state."

Te Patu has teamed up with the Mental Health Foundation to create online resources, that include 25 influential Kiwis from all walks of life talking about the many challenges they face in the hope they can help the nation.

"This kaupapa is 25 Kiwis helping other Kiwis, sharing their tips and their tools and their strategies to deal with tough situations, or tough times or mental health challenges," says Te Patu.

"If those who are looking for help watch these videos, you may find ways to help you cope or how you can deal with what you are going through," says Winiata.

Two videos will go online from the first of June.