NZ lowly ranked on personal wellbeing

09 September 2013

As Mental Health Awareness Week approaches a University of Canterbury lecturer says it is timely to reflect on people's wellbeing.

NZ lowly ranked on personal wellbeing

Tracy Clelland

As Mental Health Awareness Week approaches a University of Canterbury lecturer says it is timely to reflect on people’s wellbeing.

Tracy Clelland says high wellbeing equates to good mental health which is about supporting people to flourish not languish.

"Flourishing refers to the experience of life going well. It is a combination of feeling good and functioning effectively. Flourishing is synonymous with a high level of mental wellbeing, and it characterizes good mental health

"Although our wellbeing is influenced by a number of factors, including our genes, experiences and environments, it is also influenced by the actions we take and the way we think – our attitudes, sense of purpose and personal values.

"The recently released results from the New Zealand Sovereign wellbeing index demonstrate the importance of tuning into our wellbeing. Many New Zealanders are not flourishing with nearly two thirds of our young people showing signs of depressed mood.

"We rate very poorly compared to most of the European countries, especially in how we connect with others in our neighbourhood.

"The New Economics Foundation conducted a review of the most up-to-date evidence suggesting that building the five ways to wellbeing into our lives is important for the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.

"Evidence illustrates that people who incorporate the five ways to wellbeing in their everyday lives are more resilient. People who socially connected, gave time and resources to others, took notice of their surroundings, were active and learnt new things were more likely to be flourishing."

The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, from 7 to 13 October, is about connecting.

UC Bachelor of Health Sciences students are creating an exhibition that will help people reflect and explore ways to connect and focus on mental health and overall wellbeing.

When compared with 22 European countries, the Sovereign Wellbeing Index found New Zealand consistently ranked near the bottom of the ranking in both personal and social wellbeing. New Zealand is well behind the Scandinavian countries that lead these measures.

UC Bachelor of Health Sciences students are creating an exhibition that will help people reflect and explore ways to connect and focus on mental health and overall wellbeing.

 

For further information please contact:
Kip Brook
Media Consultant
Student Services and Communications
University of Canterbury
Ph: (03) 364 3325
Mobile: 027 5030 168
kip.brook@canterbury.ac.nz

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