Groups across the Bay of Plenty will be holding events next week to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week 2012.

This year's theme Take Notice is aimed at encouraging all New Zealanders to remembering the simple things that give them joy, mental health and addiction services educator at the Bay of Plenty District Health Board Jacqui Jones said.

"Take Notice involves being aware of the world around you and what you are feeling," Ms Jones said. "Taking notice can be as simple as pausing to take a deep breath, and taking notice of the world around you. Sometimes we are so busy that we forget to be more aware of life as it is happening."

Nearly half the New Zealand population will experience a mental health problem over their lifetime.


Highlights of Mental Health Awareness Week in Tauranga include an expo being held on October 11 at Tauranga Hospital.

There will be over 20 exhibitors, mini-workshops and lunch time activities, including a giant game of snakes and ladders that people with experience of mental illness have developed to highlight the positive (ladders) and negative (snakes) factors that contribute to or hinder recovery.