mental health

I AM: How music helped a young Tongan lawyer with anxiety

This week he shared the story of his journey through dance, music, spoken word and film in a showcase called I AM in South Auckland's Māngere Art Centre.

A proud 25-year-old Tongan, Foliaki worked in one of the top four accounting firms in New Zealand as an intern and was even offered a permanent full-time position.

It was a job he recognised as a dream for a graduate lawyer, a fulfilment of his parents' wishes and a pay-off for sacrifices made by his migrant grandparents.

"Wanting to make my family proud is what kept me there," he said.

Pacific doctor urges family focus on elderly during pandemic

Etuini Ma'u of Waikato Hospital said there had been an increase of anxiety and depression among the elderly.

Pacific families needed to take extra care to ensure their elderly were supported during these uncertain times, Dr Ma'u said.

"The impact of lockdown is affecting the elderly deeply. There's been an increase of anxiety and depression. The longer this drags out, the harder it will be for them," he said.

"It's about maintaining that social connection and recognising that this is a very disruptive and uncertain time for your parents, for your elderly."

Mental health support for Pasifika receives funding

Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa recently announced a $NZ1.5 million boost to grow primary mental health and addiction services for Pacific peoples in Auckland, Hamilton and Canterbury.

K'Aute Pasifika Trust in Hamilton, which provided services for children and young people, and a day programme for adults, received funding to grow its services.

Chief Executive Leaupepe Rachel Karalus said the funding would make a significant impact now as there was increased anxiety among Pacific children and young people the last time New Zealand was in lockdown.

Rise in number of people checking in on their mental health

The Headfirst website allows people to take self-tests for anxiety or depression.

The website has been around since 2017 and in its first year had almost 14,000 visit.... that number has grown steadily since.

It uses players like Keven Mealamu, Ruby Tui, Nehe Milner-Skudder and Du'Plessis Kirifi as ambassadors to help get the message across, but it's not just for rugby players and supporters.

Dr Nathan Price has been with New Zealand Rugby for six years and is their education and Wellbeing Manager and leads the Headfirst programme.

Akira Ioane's mental health battle after All Blacks RWC snub

Ioane, who made his representative debut for New Zealand as 19-year-old at the Wellington Sevens in 2014, has long been heralded as an elite prospect but has yet to make the leap to test level.

After a roller-coaster season with the Blues in 2019, former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen left Ioane out of the squad, citing his fitness and attitude as road-blocks to his inclusion.

Tonga needs to work together to address mental health, academic

Massey University's Sione Vaka spent most of his career researching cultural understandings of mental health and the use of appropriate tools.

Dr Vaka is in Tonga attending the country's first mental health symposium and said the biggest problem sufferers have was dealing with cultural stigma.

"That there might be something wrong that the family has done, some sort of sin or some sort of curse that happens to them," he said.

Next Tongan govt urged to invest in mental health

Tonga will go to the polls in November and the head of the Tonga Mental Health and Disabilities Association is hoping improvements in the sector will follow.

RNZI reports Leonaitasi Hoponoa has been involved in Tonga's first mental health symposium this week and said the event aims to boost awareness.

Mr Hoponoa said around 10 percent of Tongans suffer from mental illness at some point in their lives but the government support hadn't always been there.

Yoga: A beginner's guide

In fact, centuries before Instagram and activewear, "doing yoga" didn't involve the body at all.

At its core, yoga is a practice for tapping into your mind and poses are just one way of doing that.

Yoga's philosophy is based on eight limbs; only one of them, asana, is about the poses. The rest: yama, niyama, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi, are best described as moral and ethical codes to live by.

Let's talk about the mental load

You know the scene — you're making dinner, calling the plumber/doctor/mechanic, checking homework and answering work emails — at the same time.

All the while, you are being peppered with questions by your nearest and dearest "where are my shoes?", "do we have any cheese?", "what time's my basketball game?", "what are we doing next Saturday night?".

But even if you know this experience well, you may not have the language to describe it.

How to better manage your relationship with your phone

How does it feel for you? What emotions come up in your mind and body?

What about when you realise you've left your mobile device at home, or in a taxi? Are you bereft? Do you crave it?

Last year, 84 per cent of Australians owned a smartphone — and among young people, that figure was 94 per cent.

And our dependence on mobile devices has crept up on us over time, leading to a range of problems, University of Washington Information School's Professor David Levy said.