The most important thing everyone can do for their mental health is talk, Oamaru Wolfpack president Kyle Beck says.
“Speak out in whatever way you can, whether it is [to] a friend or yourself in the shower,” Mr Beck said.
“We have all been through a struggle and we don’t talk about it, which is what we need to change.”
Mr Beck is the newly elected president of the Oamaru Wolfpack, a men’s support and wellness group.
Like most things in 2020, the group had its progress stalled by Covid-19, but Mr Beck said activities were resuming, including fortnightly “pack chats” – informal get-togethers for men to speak about whatever was on their mind.
“If you know someone [struggling], drag them along,” he said.
“Not all of us are there telling sad stories. There is some positive stuff that gets talked about, too.”
He would also like to hold regular workshops on healthy eating and other aspects of physical and mental wellness.
“I want to see us equipping guys with things that help them think a bit better or get on the right track.”
Mr Beck said the Wolfpack had helped support him through some tough times with his mental health to wellness, and it could have the same effect on others.
“I went from a shy and quiet guy; confidence wasn’t something I really had.
“Whereas now, stepping up as chairman, confidence is a big thing I have.”
But wellness was an ongoing journey and Mr Beck said the lockdown and ongoing uncertainty of Covid-19 was impacting on people’s mental health.
“There is so much going on and so little going on,” he said.
“For me, having a past with anxiety, structure is very important, and when structure is out the window it’s very unsettling.
“I think we are finding out how disconnected we have become, and there are definitely things we can work on going forward.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about the Oamaru Wolfpack, or in joining the group, should visit facebook.com/oamaruwolfpack