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Getting Through Together Digest: 15th July 2020

Wednesday, July 15, 2020   Posted in: Newsletters By: Administrator With tags: mental health, newsletter, wellbeing, resilience, recovery, Matariki, campaign

Kia ora. Our team of five million is a pretty special bunch. But every now and then, we come across someone whose spirit and attitude has us in absolute awe.

Former pilot, Kit Alexander is one such person. He is one of many Kiwis made redundant during nohu rāhui/ lockdown. He's since applied for almost 50 jobs and received dozens of rejections. But Kit has picked himself up and he has a great message for us all:

“Just take a small step forward, regardless of what it is and even if it’s just to look after yourself.”

Kit's story and all the others in this issue reinforce why it's so important to always be kind to people you meet - whether you're in the supermarket, at work, on hold to a call centre or walking in the park. Your smile, kind gesture or words could be the little thing someone needs to get through their day. It’s also scientifically proven to be good for you too, so give it a try!

All Right? and the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand

From pilot to supermarket shelf stacker

A shock redundancy has helped Kit Alexander realise he is much more than his job.

If anyone asked the Christchurch man who he was prior to COVID-19, his default answer was ‘I’m a pilot’.

“We often see ourselves as our job. But that’s not true,” says Kit.

After being made redundant at Virgin Australia during noho rāhui/ lockdown, and eventually securing new jobs; one packing shelves at New World and the other delivering pizzas to get by, his answer is now a very different one.

“Now I would say ‘I’m so much more’. I’m a dad, husband, son, brother and I love doing all these different things that make me, me.”

Read more of Kit's story on being more than his job title.

ZM's Bree missing whānau from afar

ZM radio presenter Bree Tomasel doesn't know when she will be able to see her family next.

Like many of us, the radio presenter is unable to see her family in Australia because of COVID-19 travel restrictions. She's missed the birth of her nephew, Mother's Day and is now hoping to make it across the ditch for Christmas.

Watch and learn more about Bree's experience and how she's staying connected during this time (YouTube).

Navigating COVID-19 with a long term health condition

For most families, the move into noho rāhui/ lockdown was a big one. When it comes to those living with severely compromised immune systems, it confirmed a reality they live with every day – that our health is fragile.

Tim and Jo Mitchell have been together for just under a decade. Jo was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2013.

“Almost from the day of the diagnosis, we’ve pretty much had to self-isolate,” says Tim.

In August last year, Jo underwent a stem cell treatment that saved her life but means she now has the immunity of a newborn – she even needed to have all of her vaccinations again.

Recently, the whole world's become more aware of just how easily germs are spread. Tim says that's helped their friends realise what the family have been going through.

“They’re having conversations now like ‘I was a little upset when you guys had to cancel because I had a cough but now, I totally get it,’” he says. “It’s been an eye opener for a lot of people.”

Read more of Tim and Jo's inspiring story.

A time to renew and reset

Matariki – or Puanga if you live on the West Coast – gives us the chance to reflect, live in the moment and dream of a better future.

Lots of New Zealanders are using this Matariki to wave goodbye to the past few months and reset for the year ahead.

Slowing down during hōtoke/ winter gives us an opportunity to:

  • take notice of the things around us;
  • acknowledge our shared experiences with the people in our lives; and
  • be grateful for all that we have achieved together.

How do you plan to reset and refresh for the year ahead?

Not all right?

For many of us, these new challenges and the loss of our regular routines is causing stress. We want you to know that however you’re feeling, there is someone to talk to and free help available. It’s okay to reach out if you need to - we all need a bit of support from time-to-time.

Call or text 1737 to speak with a trained counsellor anytime - it’s free and completely confidential. You can also call Lifeline on 0800 543354 or text HELP to 4357.

Check out the Mental Health Foundation’s website for further advice on how to stay mentally well during this time.

Until next time, stay well Aotearoa.
And remember, we'll get through this - together.

Sign up now for the Getting Through Together Digests.

Healthy Christchurch Champions

  • Canterbury District Health Board
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Environment Canterbury
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ngai Tahu
  • NZ Police
  • Pegasus Health
  • University of Otago, Christchurch