When you are positive, you see opportunities instead of obstacles. – Confucius
Two local professionals working in the mental health space are pooling their knowledge and resources to offer twice the assistance for mental health issues in the community.
Lindsey Rayner from HumanEx offers Mental Health First Aid courses to businesses and organisations throughout the country. Rachelle Hawes from the Positive Mindset Challenge has created an online Programme which is relevant for both teenagers and adults. Together they are collaborating with the business community and education sector to get their message out there that help is available.
Rayner and Hawes believe the role that teachers, employers and employees play in creating thriving communities is essential. Good management, positive lessons at school and good mental health all go hand in hand so although their offerings differ they are both in the early intervention stage:
Mental Health First Aid Aotearoa is an internationally accredited programme. The course is an invaluable tool for every workplace that teaches participants how to recognise signs of distress in others. It also provides a robust system for First Aiders to utilise to help those in need. Part of it is designed to significantly help reduce suicide and is packed full of excellent information and tools to manage all kinds of situations. The course is certificated for 3 years.
The Positive Mindset Challenge focuses on how our brains work and how to use them to our advantage to create more happiness and better outcomes in our day. Underlying this teaching is that our brains are designed to work at their best when positive. Our intelligence, creativity and ability to brainstorm new ideas along with memory and productivity are all significantly enhanced when we’re feeling positive and happy.
Alternatively our productivity is significantly reduced when we are worried or stressed. We make the best decisions, generate our finest work and receive excellent outcomes (and are also most successful) when we are feeling great.
One of the many things Rayner and Hawes both agree on is that you must take time to look after your own mental health because self-care is essential. It’s like the safety briefing on planes where you put your own oxygen airbag first before helping those around you although it seems contrary to most people’s instincts because you want to protect your family/friends first. But how can you help them when your own mental health is on the rocks?
Everyone is struggling at the moment, even people working in the mental health sector. Rayner and Hawes use their own tips and learning to keep their positivity levels up and they also draw a lot of strength from their partners, families and pets.
Unfortunately, not everyone has strong family ties to lean on like these two amazing ladies, but consider your family of choice as your adopted whānau who you can korero with. Who can you talk to, are there friends, workmates or others in the community that you can reach out to? Just ask for help, someone will always be there to take your hand. Sure, it can be hard sometimes, but your mental health is worth it.
If the Mental Health Toolkit or 30 Day Positive Challenge aren’t quite the right fit for you Rayner and Hawes can suggest other resources/services. They can even provide a friendly ear at a café because they both love having a chat over coffee. Check out their two programmes helping to make New Zealand a happier place!