For two years New Zealanders have been navigating through the fog of a global pandemic - impacting our lives personally, socially and professionally.
And while Covid has pushed a lot of social issues into the background, those problems haven't disappeared - many have worsened.
Right at the top of that list is how we're feeling - our happiness and mental health. Many of us are feeling anxious about what we've been through.
New Zealand was in the grip of a mental health crisis before Covid-19. And as the Herald reports today, the health, social and economic pressures brought by the pandemic have compounded the issue for thousands of Kiwis and their families and put even more strain on an already overtaxed health system.
The problem is too big to ignore - and it's likely to grow in the months ahead, particularly as the cost-of-living crisis hits New Zealanders in the back pocket.
Today, the Herald and NZME launch Great Minds, a major editorial project that will examine our mental from a range of perspectives.
We will share personal stories, interactive features and wellbeing ideas to help our readers as we emerge from Covid and Omicron.
Critically, we will be offering solutions, including practical ideas on how New Zealanders can navigate out of that pandemic fog, back to a sense of wellbeing.
The series starts today with new research showing the current state of the nation's emotional wellbeing and an examination of the psychological toll the pandemic has taken on some Kiwis.
Over the coming weeks and months, we will look at how the trends in mental health are affecting us in various ways, from our working lives to how we raise our kids. We'll provide our audience with constructive ideas to help make sense of the challenging times we're living through.
We'll have deep new reporting on the state of our mental health system, how it has been affected by the surge in demand, and how it's serving the people who need it most.
We'll put under the microscope Labour's promises to put mental health at the heart of Government, including the progress on its landmark Wellbeing Budget, and scrutinise the policies of the other political parties. We'll identify potential solutions to the problems we're facing.
Radio Hauraki breakfast host and Herald columnist Matt Heath joins us as Happiness Editor. He will share his own insights in his search for wellbeing as well as interviews with international experts in the field.
Psychotherapist Kyle MacDonald will produce a series of videos and articles with Hamish Coleman-Ross, his co-host on The Nutters Club show on Newstalk ZB. Each episode will help our audience navigate a challenging area of modern life.
And we'll reveal the personal stories of people who have experienced mental illness. Many of those stories will necessarily be painful and confronting. But there are also plenty of stories to be told about hope and recovery.
"We are opening a national conversation, offering hope and solutions to the enormous challenges facing Kiwis after more than two years of uncertainty and anguish," says NZME managing editor Shayne Currie.
"With NZME's audience of more than 3.5 million, we know we have a critical role in helping Kiwis in the search for happiness and wellbeing - and ensuring our communities and people are thriving."