Mental Health Awareness Day 2022

 Our Mental Health Day 2022

 

We organised an event where we invited people from different ethnicities to come together and talk about issues that affect us as foreigners living in New Zealand. The reason for the gathering was to bring awareness amongst our people that it can take a long time to settle and get used to the lifestyle here. At the same time helping them realise that there is help out there if they need it. They don’t have to suffer alone. They can find some African counsellors if they wish or they can find Pakeha counsellors if they wish to do so. We had the pleasure of hosting individuals from Zimbabwean, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa, Nigeria and some Pakeha people. The ages of people who attended ranged from 10 to 60 years old. Both men and women attended. The total number of attendees was about 80.

 

We invited Ibrahim Omer who is the African labour list MP. As the main speaker and he told his story and experiences of moving from his motherland to settle in NZ. It was an inspiring story and a lot of the people who attended identified with his experiences. It was an eye-opener to many ethnic New Zealanders.

 

 

 

 

 

There were some experienced counsellors who gave their personal experiences and were willing to share their life journeys, especially living in New Zealand with people of a different culture. One of the speakers actually suffered from post-natal psychosis and she shared her experiences with the other listeners who were in the place. Many people were amazed by how she managed to conquer the battle. She emphasized the importance of self-care and looking out for signs of depression. She says to get immediate help when anyone experiences mild to severe symptoms of depression.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the event, we served African cuisine and many people enjoyed sharing the meal with fellow Africans. The varieties served were Zimbabwean, Zambian and Ethiopian food. It was a great time of celebration and sharing. We had a great dance from the Sudanese people and the whole crowd joined in dances and ululation. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were speeches and dances from the attendees and it was a relaxing but inspiring event. The feedback we got from the people who attended was that they really wanted us to organise more similar events. We got many phone calls afterwards from people asking for counselling and help. There are many people in our communities who are desperate because they don’t know what to do with their children who have turned against them. One of the parents pulled me to the side and told me that her family of seven children had all turned to drugs.

 

written by

Director

Sabina L

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