Promoting ‘help-thinking behaviour’ in Wanaka - localizing a national campaign

Thursday 10 June 2021

A Wanaka-based mental health and well-being advocate is localising a well-known national mental health campaign with the aim of encouraging people in the Wanaka-Central Lakes area to help normalise reaching out for help. 

Karyn Munro, WellSouth Primary Health Network, says the project she’s coordinating adds images of local residents to posters promoting the national free counselling service 1737. In addition to raising the profile of the service locally, her aim is to make it relatable, accessible and relevant to the local community and  to reach groups who might not ordinarily think to ask for help.

“The idea is to raise awareness of and encourage people to take up ‘help-thinking behaviour’,” she says. “Asking for help can be new to many people. Using local people brings home the message that people who might want to talk or need a little extra help are our friends and neighbours.”

The initiative is based on a similar campaign that was used in South Canterbury, created by Annette Beautrais. An initial photo shoot took place last week at the Mitre 10 in Wanaka, aimed at people working in the trades.  Other photos in the campaign will include a new mum, a man in his 20s and another man after 40.

Localising the 1737 campaign is part of shared approach to coordinating mental health and well-being services and support in Central Lakes, led by the Central Lakes Wellbeing Recovery Group.

Adell Cox, Southern DHB’s Allied Health Director for Mental Health says the plan is to extend this 1737 localised promotion across Queenstown and Central Otago.

“The Central Lakes Wellbeing Recovery Group’s  hopes the use of local people for the 1737 posters helps make the images relatable to people in our community and underlies the message that 1737 is a resource for anyone in need. “

The Central Lakes Wellbeing Recovery Group brings together secondary, primary and community health care providers, government agencies, NGOs and other community partners to work together and coordinate services, ensuring people can access the care and support they need. 


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