Mental Health Awareness Week @ AUT

Working toward a research degree can be incredibly rewarding… and incredibly challenging.

This is a unique stage of life in which we’re pursuing the noble goal of performing complex research and earning one of the highest degrees available. But at the same time, we can often face a perfect storm of stressors: deadlines, financial pressures, academic expectations, family responsibilities, managing visas, milestones, outside work… the list goes on. 

Perhaps this is why postgraduate students report worrying rates of anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns.

Mental Health Awareness Week aims to shine a light on mental health issues and share tools for wellbeing. At AUT, we’re observing this week with a calendar of workshops, mindfulness sessions, discussions, and fun events coordinated by our Counselling & Mental Health team.

In Te Ao Māori (the Māori world), hauora (health & wellbeing) is conceptualized as having four components:

  1. taha hinengaro (mental wellbeing)
  2. taha tinana (physical wellbeing)
  3. taha wairua (spiritual wellbeing)
  4. taha whanau (social wellbeing)

The sessions on offer this week bring in that broad focus on nurturing our whole selves – mind, body, and spirit – and connecting us with others. (Learn more about this on Tuesday in a session called ‘An interactive approach to wellbeing and Te Whare Tapa Whā’ at 2pm via Zoom, passcode 509860.)

A highlight for PG students will be the ‘Building Resilience’ session on Wednesday at 11am via Zoom, passcode 586847. It takes real fortitude to get through the demands of a research degree, and this session will introduce tools for developing that resilience.

Whether you’re struggling and want some help, or you’re thriving and want to stay that way, we encourage you to get involved and invest some time in your own wellbeing.

The Counselling & Mental Health team also supports students year-round with free counselling and (for our postgrad whānau) PG Wellness Toolkit sessions every month.

Noho haumaru noho pai (stay safe and stay well).

About Graduate Research School (Auckland University of Technology)

The Auckland University of Technology Graduate Research School offers support and resources to all postgraduate students at AUT. Come and visit us on the 5th floor of the WU building.

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