Mental Health Week 2023 banner

Mental Health Awareness Week

In 2023, Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from 18-24 September. This year’s theme is Five Ways, Five Days, with the Mental Health Foundation providing a set of proven tools to boost our mental health when we need it.

The theme is underpinned by Te Whare Tapa Whā, a holistic model of health — designed by leading Māori health advocate Sir Mason Durie in 1984 — that describes health as a wharenui | meeting house with four walls representing taha wairua (spiritual wellbeing), taha hinengaro (mental and emotional wellbeing), taha tinana (physical wellbeing) and taha whānau (family and social wellbeing).

Below, discover resources available at Te Tumu Herenga | Libraries and Learning Services.

TV and Radio

Misconceptions: Unravelling Anxiety

A 10-part online video series exploring what it means to live with anxiety. Around one in four New Zealanders will experience anxiety disorder in their lifetimes. The series aims to bust myths, confront taboos, and let people who live with anxiety know that they are not alone.

The episodes feature interviews with healthcare professionals, everyday people who live with anxiety, and well-known New Zealanders such as Split Enz bass player Mike Chunn, TikTok star Leighton Clarke (AKA Uncle Tics), and social media personality Krystine Nation.

Re: Not a blanket approach

In this series, Re: teams up with the Mental Health Foundation to share the stories of six Kiwis from all around the country and their journeys with mental health. From the isolation of rural farm life to having a family tragedy plastered across the media, each episode explores the tough terrain of mental health and shows that there’s not a blanket approach to ‘fix’ it.

Rediscovering Aotearoa: Hauora | Health

Medicine student Aniket Chawla is welcomed to Motatau Marae in Northland. He meets Juan and Tahjai Brown, students of rongoā | traditional Māori healing. How does a collective te ao Māori view of health differ from an individualistic Western one, and what can this mean for our mental health system?

RandR: Climate Anxiety

Young people’s mental health is being hit by realities of the climate crisis. Hosted by Eru and K’Lee, this episode of RandR sees discussions with guests Te Huia Taylor and Nathan Mikaere-Wallis.

Under the Korowai

Under the Korowai looks at Te Whare Marie, a kaupapa Māori mental health service provider that is combining tohunga-led spiritual and cultural therapy and clinical methods to help young Māori understand, rather than fear, their gifts.


Aroha: Māori wisdom for a contented life lived in harmony with our planet
Dr Hinemoa Elder

Discover traditional Māori philosophy through 52 whakatauki — simple, powerful life lessons, one for every week. Each one is retold by respected Māori psychiatrist Dr Hinemoa Elder to show how we can live a less stressful daily life, with more contentment and kindness for each other and the planet.

How we got happy: Stories of health, hope and happiness from 20 young Kiwis who beat depression
Jonathan Nabbs and Eve Macfarlane

With a strong focus on the wellness tools each of its impressive young profiles has developed, How We Got Happy combines intimate photography with compassionate storytelling to give a unique look into the lives and lessons of 20 young New Zealanders making the most of their lives.

From students, to salary earners, from parents to party-goers, each person opens up about the lessons they learnt for staying well, and how they now maximise their wellness tools to build healthier, stronger, richer lives than ever before.

Headlands: New stories of anxiety
Edited by Naomi Arnold

In 2017, Ministry of Health figures showed that one in five New Zealanders sought help for a diagnosed mood or anxiety disorder, and these figures are growing. Headlands: New Stories of Anxiety tells the real, messy story behind these statistics — what anxiety feels like, what causes it, what helps and what doesn’t — through a collection of stories by New Zealanders with experience of anxiety.

Maea te toi ora: Māori health transformations
Te Kani Kingi, Mason Durie, Hinemoa Elder, Rees Tapsell, Mark Lawrence, Simon Bennett

In Maea te Toi Ora: Māori Health Transformations Māori clinicians and researchers explore the relationship between Māori culture and Māori mental health. The six contributing authors in the collection are all well known in the mental health field. Each discusses aspects of Māori and indigenous health and the importance of culture to diagnosis, patient history, understanding causes, treatment and assessment of outcomes.

Along with a discussion of current research into and knowledge about health and culture, the authors provide case studies from their own experiences of working with Māori to restore wellbeing

All Blacks don’t cry: A story of hope
Sir John Kirwan

All Blacks Don’t Cry is the remarkable story of hope and healing from well-known mental health campaigner and legendary All Black, Sir John Kirwan.