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Do we need to talk about mental health in NZ? Here’s an easy way to start

With the fast-paced world we find ourselves in, it can be easy to neglect your mental health. Exams, work, school, friends, Netflix – it’s hard enough to keep up with the news these days, let alone practice self-care.

But more than ever, we need to talk about mental health in NZ. We have a health system at its max and downright shocking suicide stats. Know someone who’s been affected? Yup, thought so. We all have.

If you’re as passionate about this as I am, then here’s an easy way to do your bit: take part in the #LiveForTomorrow Photo Challenge – a 10 day social media challenge celebrating life in the lead up to World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept 10.

Because let’s be real: we all spend way more time on social media than we should. Recent studies estimate we spend about 9 hours a day on Facebook, Instagram and other online platforms! Instagram is usually a place where we heavily curate our photos to make our lives look ‘perfect.’ How many of us have taken 50+ selfies to get the perfect one? Or deleted a photo because it didn’t get enough likes?

But what if we spent some of our time online doing good? What if we were to reflect on the journey that took us to this moment? What if we were honest and real in a way that’s never been seen before? Would our vulnerability give others courage to share their own?

That’s what the Live For Tomorrow Photo Challenge is all about.

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Every year, thousands of people around Aotearoa (and the rest of the world!) take part in the 10 day #LiveForTomorrow Photo Challenge, sharing their thoughts, tips and stories around positive mental health. It’s a great way to start conversations that we usually shy away from, and every year people are inspired and reminded that life is worth living. Last year’s challenge saw over 7,000 photos posted reaching millions of feeds.

“The Photo Challenge has been going since 2014, so this will be our fourth year rolling it out,” says Christine, Live For Tomorrow‘s Digital Campaigner. “It’s a great opportunity to practice gratitude and being present in the moment. Each day’s challenge is based off one of the five ways to wellbeing – take notice, be active, give, connect, keep learning. It’s a great way to practice healthy wellbeing within a short window of time.”

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How it works 

Download the challenge photo here, save it to your phone, and post it on your Insta! Follow the prompt each day, and tag it #LiveForTomorrow. Easy as!

Why it works 

The #LiveForTomorrow Photo Challenge encourages moments of mindfulness – the practice of deliberate, open attention to the present. It’s those moments when you stop to consider a beautiful day, really taste your coffee, or give your full attention to a friend. Mindfulness helps our mental health. Each day’s challenge helps you be mindful and grateful of the good!

Take the challenge 

Mental health is something we all have, but it has so much stigma around it. We need to change that and you can be a part of the change. 

Share it!

The more people take part, the more the conversation we have about mental health, so share share share!

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