op mhaw 2022 02
Mental Health Awareness Week
26 September / Mahuru - 02 October / Oketopa
This Mental Health Awareness Week, we’ve got your back (and brain) with a range of activities, services and resources.

In an increasingly busy and stressful world, it’s really important to look after your mind and body. The strong foundations and four sides of the wharenui illustrate the four aspects of wellbeing: 

  • Taha whānau – Family health
  • Taha tinana – Physical health
  • Taha hinengaro – Mental health
  • Taha wairua – Spiritual health

Each aspect needs nurturing to maintain your overall health and wellbeing.

Taha whānau – come along with your whānau!



The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week in 2022 is ‘Reconnect’. So, we were keen to provide a range of fun events where you can connect/reconnect with mates and whānau.

Tuesday 27 September / Rātu 27 Mahuru

What? When? Where?  

Mindful Colouring


The Hub

Relax and unwind with some calming mindfulness colouring in.

BBQ hosted by OPSA and Student Support

12noon -1.00pm

Outside The Hub in the Quad

Who doesn’t want a free lunch?!

Thursday 29 September / Rāpare 29 Mahuru

What? When? Where?  

Live music, open mike session


The Hub

Enjoy live music in The Hub. If you’re keen to take part, please email Rex.Askerud@op.ac.nz


Taha tinana – get your body moving!

Unipol Recreation Centre

Group fitness membership is available at Unipol from 5 September / Mahuru to 13 November / Noema.

Cost = $35

Great stress buster during this end of year exam period and there’s even classes during exams!

Buy at Unipol or online


Tapuae Gym – a student-led service

Located at the Sargood Centre and G Block (Dunedin Campus), Tapuae is a fully-equipped service with a range of exercise and massage equipment to enable your health and wellbeing journey.

Tapuae offers a safe, supportive space to work on yourself.

Check it out

Taha hinengaro – looking after your mental wellbeing

Looking after your mental health and happiness is equally as important as looking after yourself physically. As well as our own internal counselling team who take bookings online, we have also partnered with some external counselling providers to widen the opportunities for our ākonga to access help when they need it.

Please never be afraid to ask for help.

puawaitanga logo

Puāwaitanga means to blossom, to flourish, to break through. 

We’ve partnered with Puāwaitanga to provide support around stress, depression, anxiety, grief and loss, relationship issues, low self-esteem, addictions or other related issues that may be affecting your life.

Puāwaitanga offers:

  • Phone and/or video counselling sessions to help strengthen your hauora (wellbeing)
  • You can choose which counsellor you'd like to do sessions with from the Puāwaitanga team
  • Sessions available 7 days a week, 9am-9pm
  • Sessions are free to enrolled students
  • A booster session to check in with you three months after you've finished sessions to see how things have been going 

Please note that to access this service you need to be:

  • Currently enrolled as a student with Otago Polytechnic
  • Living in New Zealand
  • Aged 18+ years

Enrol online (you will be asked for your student ID number to confirm you are an enrolled student) or you can call 0800 782 999.

Puāwaitanga will let Otago Polytechnic know that you’ve contacted us and a summary of care will be sent to Student Support.

vitae logo

Vitae Counselling Services Tari Whakapakari Ngākau


A free, 24/7 confidential service provided to Te Pūkenga - Otago Polytechnic students. Counselling services are available face-to-face (wheelchair friendly premises available on request), by telephone or video (Zoom).

If you need help with:

  • personal or workplace stress  
  • relationship problems
  • conflict situations
  • anxiety/depression
  • anger/violence
  • grief/loss
  • harassment
  • personal trauma

Call 0508 664 981 or complete the online referral form.

Or you can download the Vitae app free by searching Vitae NZ at the apps store.

Taha wairua – taking care of your spiritual health

Spiritual wellbeing plays a central role in coping with events in your life. It’s an often misunderstood concept. It doesn’t necessarily refer to any particular spiritual practice but more to the human need for meaning, purpose and connection to something greater than ourselves. This aspect of our wellbeing could be met many ways such as feeling deeply connected to nature, through a passion for the work/job/career we do, or through the practice of a religious faith. It’s a very diverse and often individualised aspect to health but hugely important.

Our chaplains are available to provide a range of pastoral care and spiritual services for our ākonga. 

The services they provide include:

  • a friendly, non-judgemental and listening ear
  • help discovering purpose and meaning in your life and studies
  • spiritual discovery and direction
  • support with being away from home
  • support with coping with grief or sudden change in your life
  • prayer and blessings.

Reach out to our chaplains here.


Resources and support

Visit our webpage for loads more resources and help.

And check the nationwide Mental Health Awareness Week website for heaps more activities and stories.