For many New Zealanders, 2020 has been a year that has tested us in so many ways.
Dealing with Covid-19 and the impacts of it, we've been hit broadly, whether it's our finances, our physical health or our job security — we all know someone who has suffered because of it.
That will of course put a lot of people into stressful situations as they experience feelings of fear and uncertainty.
More importantly, all of these issues can have a major negative impact on our mental health.
Today marks the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week, which continues until Sunday and is a chance for people to build on what we've been doing to ensure we are looking after ourselves.
The week is more timely than ever in 2020, given all the transformations we have all had to navigate our way through.
This year's theme is Reimagine Wellbeing Together — He Tirohanga Anamata, which is aimed at encouraging us to do just that — during Covid-19 and beyond.
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In today's paper we look at how stress, fear and uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic are having a big impact on workplaces.
Mental Health Foundation chief executive Shaun Robinson said this was evident from the demand on services, feedback from communities and research.
It's to be expected given the massive changes we've faced — we are only human after all.
But what Covid-19 and the related stresses have also brought with it are more conversations about wellbeing and mental health — and that has to be a good thing, right?
I for one have never seen the mental health conversation be had more openly than it is now and I hope that continues.
Let's continue to discuss this issue so anyone feeling down feels safe enough to speak up and seek help.
The impacts of Covid-19 will be around for a long time and if our mental health isn't protected, how can any other part of us be okay?
WHERE TO GET HELP:
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youth services: (06) 3555 906
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
• Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
• Helpline: 1737
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.