As rates of mental health disorders skyrocket across Aotearoa, so too has the number of initiatives and programs that aim to help those in need. Mental Health Awareness Week, developed by the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, aims to raise awareness around mental health and the ways that we can all keep our wellbeing in check.
To encourage our team members to keep their wellness, and the wellbeing of those around them in mind, we designed a week full of activities across our store brands and offices in line with this year’s official theme of ‘explore your way to wellbeing – Whāia te ara hauora, Whitiora.’
Each day during Mental Health Awareness Week, our team at our Store Support Office (SSO) was able to attend workshops around mindfulness, money management and financial wellbeing, and a panel discussion with our charity partners.
Torpedo7 Club’s partner, Got to Get Out, also held a walk at a nearby reserve for team members at SSO to take time out from their days and enjoy the great outdoors.
At our stores and distribution centres, wellness packs were sent to our team members to help them learn about improving and maintaining strong mental, physical and financial wellbeing.
Recently, the Group announced the hiring of a new Head of Team Member Wellbeing, Tanya Colvin. In her role, Tanya will be exploring ways to keep our team members engaged and supported on their wellbeing journeys.
“I’m so excited to be taking on this new role and exploring ways in which the teams across The Warehouse Group can be healthier, fulfilled and more engaged. We know that focusing on these things will naturally lead to a more productive and positive workplace culture and happier customers.” said Tanya. “With 13 years of experience in wellbeing, I’m pleased to have the chance to bring my experience to the Group and help build on its health and wellbeing strategy.”
Mental Health Awareness Week is just one of the ways we look to support our team members in pursuit of better mental, physical and financial wellbeing. During World Wellbeing Week earlier this year, we detailed our approach through our three key wellbeing pillars: mental physical and financial wellbeing.
A key benefit offered to our team is access to our Team Member Assistance Programme through OCP, which includes free counselling sessions with a qualified counsellor for a variety of issues. We also are continuing to provide team member assistance programmes for people who need help now whether it’s work related or not, and also offer the opportunity to take leave to support family members or colleagues experiencing mental distress.
Torpedo7 has been running free events through its Torpedo7 Club around the country all year long through its partner, Got to Get Out, to encourage all Kiwis to get outside and recharge by spending time in nature. This month, they’ve been running special mindfulness-focused events in line with Mental Health Awareness Week.
All month long, our store brands have been holding in-store fundraising campaigns for our community partners who specifically benefit mental health initiatives. Noel Leeming, The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery customers have been raising money for Youthline, Parenting Place Attitude and Life Education, respectively.
The Warehouse has been a key community partner for Life Education since 2011, raising crucial funds for the organisation’s youth education programmes. Ben Wombwell, an Educator for the Life Education Counties Manukau Trust, spoke as part of the community partner panel discussion held at SSO about the strategies Life Education teaches students and what adults can learn from it, too.
“One of the key things we speak about in our programme is about how to energise our bodies. So, thinking about the food we eat, the water we drink, the exercise we do and the sleep we have and how important that is in terms of our mindset and keeping a positive attitude,” said Ben.
See Ben's full interview below.
Learn more about Mental Health Awareness Week and how you can get involved here.