• Leah Norman

Have you let Nature in yet?

Let nature in, strengthen your wellbeing – Mā te taiao kia whakapakari tōu oranga!

Nearly 50% of New Zealander’s will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime.

The Mental Health Foundation says research shows that people who feel their employer cares about their wellbeing are more engaged at work.Mental Health Foundation chief executive Shaun Robinson says, “The mental wellbeing of your people is one of your most valuable business assets”.

“Mental Health Awareness Week is an opportunity to show your people you care. Whether you support people to learn (or share with others) where they are from, their maunga/mountain or awa/river, organise a whānau gathering in a local park, or share fun and interesting facts about native plants and animals each day, you’ll be enhancing the wellbeing of your people... We know workplaces that prioritise mental health have better engagement, reduced absenteeism and higher productivity, while people have improved wellbeing and greater morale.”

Now that we are at the business end of Mental Health Awareness Week 2018, it is a great time to reflect on what your business has done this week to address mental health and how nature can grow, support and nurture your wellbeing and the wellbeing of others that you work with.

Unfortunately today, fewer Kiwis than ever are connected to the natural environment and the Mental Health Foundation want to help Kiwis to connect to nature – it's good for our mental health and wellbeing and for our physical health.

There are simple things we can all do that will make a huge difference to the mental health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders. Research has shown that spending time in nature is great for mental and physical health, making us happier and decreases feelings of depression and anxiety, improves concentration and overall life satisfaction.

Every employer has a moral obligation to address the Stigma associated with mental unwellness that makes it hard for people to ask for help – many people are worried that sharing their experiences will mean people will see them differently, and might put their relationships, job or even their home at risk. We can all be a part of changing this and making sure people feel valued, accepted and supported.

Our mental health is a positive resource that needs to be looked after and maintained and getting involved with Mental Health Awareness Week is fun! You can connect or reconnect with nature, inspire others to do the same, or just spread the word and enjoy the sunshine.


This article, and any information contained on our website is necessarily brief and general in nature, and should not be substituted for professional advice. You should always seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters addressed.