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Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey says a community initiative to encourage positive mental attitudes will help people feel more in control of their situations.

Depression Support Network (DSN) has worked in partnership with Waimakariri District Council Injury Prevention, The Mental Health Foundation, Rural Canterbury Primary Health Organisation, North Canterbury Sport and Recreation Trust, Grey Power and Lions Rangiora to create the Mind Fit event, which will be held on Wednesday 27 July from 6pm to 8pm in the Rangiora Baptist Church.

Bryon Cope of Depression Support Network said Mind Fit aimed to encourage people to surmount both real and imagined barriers, and followed discussions between a wide range of community groups which identified a need in Waimakariri to focus on mental fitness.

The event will feature motivational speaker Gary Endacott and the inspiring story of North Canterbury’s Ava Hurst and her family.

“It’s common to experience good and not so good mental health over different parts of our life course, so in some ways we’re all in this together,” Doocey said. “It’s about how we get through that and how we can help each other. Getting a sense of perspective and breaking that negative inner dialogue is a major key.”

Doocey said breaking through perceived barriers was a hurdle in people’s fight to get well. “Hearing from others who have overcome similar obstacles can inspire and encourage people in their own journey.”

Cope said he wanted people to be encouraged they were not alone. “The richness for me is the people in our community. This is about reconnecting with people and reminding ourselves we all need to help each other. It’s not about minimising the issues but reminding people that their response is so very important.”

Cope compared mental fitness to physical fitness. “Mind Fit is using our mind muscle to move forward to a place where we are more comfortable.”

Tickets at $5 can be purchased from Waimakariri District Libraries.

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