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Helping others improves emotional wellbeing and is good for your mental health, says Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey.

Doocey, who has a background in mental health, said Mental Health Awareness Week was a good time to highlight the importance of taking a few minutes to help someone else.

“If we all took a few minutes of each day to help someone else, whether to run an errand, or pop in for a visit or to surprise someone with a bunch of flowers, we are not only helping other people but we are helping ourselves. Research shows that putting others’ needs before our own can improve our own sense of wellbeing,” Doocey said.

The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (5-11 October) is “Give – Give your time, your words and your presence”.

“As the Deputy Chair of the Social Services Select Committee, I know how important it is to link people in to the services and mental-health support they need,” Doocey said. “Following the Canterbury earthquake events it is more vital than ever that we ensure that people are getting the help they need.”

Doocey said events like the 4 September 2010 earthquake lingered for a long time. “International research shows us years three to five are the most significant psychologically and socially in the recovery process and I am gratified that Social Services Select Committee members will be coming to Canterbury for a briefing on how our social-service agencies are meeting mental-health needs post recovery.”

The MP said it was important that people also paused to reflect on the progress that had been made.

“2015 has been a year of new beginnings, milestones and commemorations. It is great to see the main streets of Kaiapoi, Rangiora and Oxford coming back to life and some exciting new retail precincts being built. We’ve celebrated the opening of the Ruataniwha Kaiapoi Civic Centre, the re-opening of the Oxford and Rangiora Town Halls and a new bridge over the Ashley River. We’ve also celebrated some significant milestones, including the sod-turning of the Western Belfast Bypass and accelerated funding for two major cycleway projects in Waimakariri. It’s also been a year of commemorations in which we’ve marked the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli and the 100th commemoration of Chanuk Bair.  And, of course, we have commemorated the 5th anniversary of the September 4 earthquake.”

 Doocey urged residents who were still struggling to cope to contact his offices.

“Let’s get our communities linked into the support they need and let’s look out for each other.”  

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