Good mental health and wellbeing
Around 50 people turned out for the year’s first Combining Parenting and a Career seminar, a lively and interactive discussion about how to identify, manage and reduce stress at home and work.
The University’s CPC seminars are co-hosted by the Equity Office – Te Ara Tautika, Human Resources and the Tertiary Education Union.
In 'Good mental health and wellbeing', the University’s Dr Fiona Moir (MBChB, MRCGP) presented an overview of the many ways in which stress can influence people’s lives. She highlighted the Stress Vulnerability Model which illustrates daily levels of stress and superimposed peaks of stress which are caused by life events such as bereavement, relationship separation, and job loss. These powerful life events can tip people over their resilience 'threshold', leading to stress and mental health issues.
Fiona also discussed the importance of being able to recognise our own 'smoke alarms' - early psychological, behavioural and physical warning signs of stress. Tools for preventing and managing these alarms include engaging in endorphin-producing activities like exercise, laughter and meditation. Fiona also suggested techniques such as mindfulness and progressive muscle relaxation. And she encouraged everyone to have interests outside of work as well as strong support networks in their personal and professional lives.
Fiona is the co-author of the Computer Assisted Learning for the Mind (CALM) website, an innovative and internationally-utilised platform for resources, information and practical exercises to help communicate about and manage stress, and to help improve mental resilience.
Fiona is a senior lecturer in the Department of General Practice and in the Medical Programme Directorate. Fiona’s work at the University includes teaching postgraduate and undergraduate students, with a focus on communication skills, mental health, and student and practitioner wellbeing.
For more information visit calm.auckland.ac.nz.