Taking time out to talk

Reaching out: Southland Loss and Grief Centre director Caroline Loo. Photo: File

SOUTHLAND’S Loss and Grief Centre is asking southerners to take a moment for themselves this mental health awareness week.

Held from September 27 to October 3, centre founder Caroline Loo said she loved this year’s theme,

“I know that when I have a chance to share what’s going on in my life, it always makes me feel like I can face it a bit better.”

There was a lot of healing when people talked through their struggles, she said.

“For me, the week gives us a chance to say, stuff going on at the moment’.

“If we all take a moment to stop and share how we feel about it; a problem shared is a problem halved.”

She explained that when we processed things in our own minds, it could only be done to a certain level, but talking it over with others pushed the process along.

With this in mind, the centre was giving out

“It’s about them being able to take care of themselves. That it’s actually OK to stop, talk and acknowledge we’re all in unprecedented chaos.”

Because of that turmoil it was necessary to do more things to work through the impact of it, she said.

“Trauma, fear, anxiety, grief, a loss of connection. All the things that when we’re dealing with one or two of them at a time, generally we’re pretty good at processing it.”

Yet the pandemic heaped more on to what people were already dealing with in their personal lives.

Therefore, the kit included items like a tea bag and pencil, for people to take a moment for themselves and write down their feelings.

Little things to encourage people to put their own well-being first, Mrs Loo said.

The kits were available from the Tay St centre from September 20 to 29.

Many other organisations and groups had things planned for the week, and focused on sharing the five ways to well-being: connect, give, take notice, keep learning and be active.

All events were free and included Coffee Connect at Splash Palace on Monday, September 27.

“Come along for a chat and enjoy a free cheese scone.”

On the Wednesday the swimming pool was offering swimming lessons, while in the afternoon there would be an outdoor concert at South Alive.

Active Southland was also involved and had events planned throughout the region.

These included a scooter and bike obstacle course outside and behind the velodrome at ILT Stadium Southland, a at Ivon Wilson Park in Te Anau, Hamilton Park’ in Gore and a session around the Waikaka Way Walkway in Gore.

For more information, go to the Facebook event page, Southland’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2021.