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Mental Health

Creativity < Hope: How creatives are tackling New Zealand's mental health problem

Wellbeing Month

Creativity < Hope: How creatives are tackling New Zealand's mental health problem

When the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction report was released in December last year, it painted a grim picture. “New Zealand is experiencing a rising tide of mental distress and addiction,” it said. “The cost of poor mental wellbeing and addiction is high. It is a high cost to individuals, families and whānau, businesses and organisations, communities, government and the country as a whole.” While the spotlight has been shone on specific demographics, one sector that is also toiling under pressure is our creative industries. We all know the squeeze of creative work well: late nights, long hours, client demands, unrealistic deadlines, impostor syndrome, self-criticism. This, coupled with the sensitive disposition creative people tend to have, often creates an environment where mental health issues can flourish. However, these people also have a talent for communicating ideas at a time when New Zealand has a base-level awareness of the problem, but not a deeper understanding or the tools to fix it. In part two of a series, Elly Strang talks to the new wave of creators are coming up with inspiring solutions to confront our mental health problem head on.

Wellbeing Month

When the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction report was released in December last year, it painted a grim picture. “New Zealand is experiencing a rising tide of mental distress and addiction,” it said. “The cost of poor mental wellbeing and addiction is high. It is a high cost to individuals, families and whānau, businesses and organisations, communities, government and the country as a whole.” While the spotlight has been shone on specific demographics, one sector that is also toiling under pressure is our creative industries. We all know the squeeze of creative work well: late nights, long hours, client demands, unrealistic deadlines, impostor syndrome, self-criticism. This, coupled with the sensitive disposition creative people tend to have, often creates an environment where mental health issues can flourish. In part one of a series, Elly Strang looks at the scale of the mental health problem in New Zealand's creative industries.

Opinion

There may be good reason to be concerned about our young entrepreneurs. Millennials and Generation Z have been labelled generation burn-out, generation snowflake and described as narcissistic, entitled, tech-dependent and fragile. They’re also oversaturated with headlines about the raft of issues like climate change they have to tackle, plus concerns about the impact of technology and social media on their mental health. Jennifer Young explores possible reasons why the younger generation is so anxious, as well as what young founders can do to avoid burn-out.

Opinion

Practicing mindfulness is a a trend that's gaining momentum, but is it relevant for the workplace? It is if you look at the big players, with Apple, Google and Nike all implementing corporate programmes to create mindful practices with their workers. Sarah Pearce breaks down how this can be achieved on a smaller scale.

Opinion

Flossie founder, winner of the 2016 Most Inspiring Individual at NZ Innovation Awards and all-round inspirational New Zealand businesswoman Jenene Crossan was coached by her first investor to never let weakness show, and for 18 years she believed that to be true. However, when she found herself reaching breaking point in one of the most stressful points of her founder career, she decided she needed to restructure her idea of what 'success' looks like. Here, Crossan shares her journey.

Elevator pitch

When Snells Beach locals Kate and Mark Gatt set out to create a cognitive behavioural therapy app, they soon realised it was no small venture to embark on. Two years later, the Gatts, many therapists and a developer have built an app that helps those struggling with mental issues combat negative thoughts. We talked with Mark Gatt about the journey the duo has been on, and where they hope to take Thinkladder next.

Reality check

Entrepreneurship is well known for having a culture of grinding towards success, with workaholics like Elon Musk and Tim Cook held up as successful modern-day superheroes. However, this same culture has given way to serious concerns around founder mental health, both here and further abroad. BizDojo co-founder Nick Shewring opens up about his experience with anxiety and depression, and shares some of the insights the company has gleaned into New Zealand founder mental health through its research.

Opinion

Many jobs can be stressful enough on their own, but for some people there is added stress, frustration and even depression that accompanies their employment role. There are a number of different factors that can cause workplace depression to develop, but when it's recognised and acknowledged there are effective ways to counter those feelings, says Gloria Kopp.