Te Reo


“When I first experienced depression… I didn’t know what it was.” – Tawhiti Kunaiti

Taking care of emotional health is important for everyone, whether or not you’ve experienced a mental illness. It means doing things that make you feel good, boost your mood and express your thoughts and feelings.

Many of the same things that help prevent mental illness from developing can also help people to manage and recover if they do experience a mental disorder.

It’s estimated that almost 50% of New Zealanders experience a mental illness or addiction at some time in their lives. The most common problems for Māori are mood disorders like depression, anxiety and substance use disorders.

Whakawhanuangatanga – Build relationships, relate well socially, communicate

  • Spend time building relationships with whānau, friends, workmates and neighbours
  • Connect with support groups or programmes if you’re experiencing a mental illness.

Koha me te aroha – Gift with love

  • Volunteer in your community, sports club, or place of worship
  • Donate items you no longer have use for to people in need
  • Share with whānau the food you’ve gathered.

Whakatewhatewha – Examine, inquire, explore

  • Try something you have always wanted to do but never actually done
  • Be open to talking about your mental health with a friend or whānau member who suggests you share your thoughts with them
  • Learn as much as you can about any mental health conditions that affect you.

Kia mataara, mohiotanga – Alertness, insight, intelligence, knowledge

  • Have a mirimiri to sooth and relax your body and enhance your wairua
  • Investigate your whakapapa, who you are, where you are from and where you stand; skilfully reflecting on the past can enhance our appreciation of the present moment
  • Be mindful of the natural world.

Mahi kakamā – Be nimble and active

  • Take a walk with friends or whānau
  • Support whānau members in exercise – join them on a run or cycle
  • Bring activity into the everyday – take the stairs instead of the lift, don’t use the remote.

 Mental Health Foundation resource

Tihei-mauri-oraTihei Mauri Ora
Supporting whānau through suicidal distress




Read about the other cornerstones of health

Te taha whānau – Family health
Te taha tinana – Physical health
Te taha wairua Spiritual health