The new year is a time for fulfilling our good intentions and striving to do better than we did last year right?
The truth is that most of us struggle to meet our own lofty aspirations but for some, there are serious roadblocks on the path to wellbeing.
For Whanganui people who may be experiencing mental or emotional distress and need help to get through it, Balance Whanganui is offering a free 10-week lifestyle management programme.
The programme name is Turuki, turuki, Paneke, paneke - Onwards and Upwards.
It is based on a chant used by paddlers to move a waka (or another heavy object) forward and Balance project co-ordinator Carla Langmead said it is a perfect analogy for what the programme is about.
"Our values are based on peer support and the Māori health concept te whare tapa whā," Langmead said.
"It is hard for people to move forward when their physical, spiritual, family or mental health are impaired in some way so we have invited service providers and advocates to provide a session each week."
Langmead said the aim is to provide a fun and social way for people to get together and gain up-to-date information on community service provision.
Topics during the 10 weeks will include managing medication, the impact of addictions, nutrition, being active, stress reduction, challenging stigma and discrimination, developing resilience and building healthier relationships.
Service manager Jenna Davis-Waite said there will be a comprehensive range of providers and advises that participants should attend all the sessions if they can.
"There will be a session on diabetes which will be beneficial for everyone to attend.
"Even if you don't have diabetes you are bound to know someone who does and there is a wide spectrum of experiences for people with the condition," she said.
"I have type 1 diabetes myself and my needs are different from someone with type 2 or even others with type 1."
Langmead said one of the speakers is a DHB pharmacist who will offer in-depth information about different medicines and answer questions.
"We hear a lot from Balance members that they want to know more about their prescriptions and how to manage them so I'm predicting a lot of interest in that session.
"You don't have to be a Balance member to join the programme and it's open to everyone living in our community who feels they may benefit from this programme."
Established as a support group for people experiencing manic depression (bipolar) in 1992, Balance Whanganui now provides peer support, education and advocacy services across the mental health and addiction continuum.
People who wish to become Balance members can join up during or after the programme, said Langmead.
"Our first speaker on February 11 will be Sir Robert Martin who is going to speak about his role as a disability advocate and his position on the global stage in that role.
"And of course his recent knighthood which I'm sure people will be curious about."
The introductory Turuki, turuki, Paneke, paneke meeting will be held in room 120 at Community House in Ridgway St on Tuesday, February 4 from 12.30pm to 2.30pm. Further meetings will be held at the same time and place each week until April 7. Registrations are essential and can be sent to Carla@balance.org.nz or call 06 345 4488.