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Gumboot day- promoting mental health in the workplace.

‘Walking through depression is like walking through mud.’ With this in mind, today is Gumboot Friday, a chance to show solidarity with those of us who are struggling with our mental health.

New Zealand was in the midst of a mental health crisis even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty, lockdowns and economic downturn that has accompanied it has only intensified this crisis.

We spend a great proportion of our lives at work, and one’s occupation is often strongly linked to one’s self-identity and sense of self-worth. Unfortunately, for too many people, their job is the source of mental distress.

Toxic work environments, unreasonable workloads and job insecurity are just some factors that can affect one’s mental health. This often spills into employees’ personal lives, affecting factors such as their ability to sleep and their personal relationships.

This is unacceptable and may in fact amount to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, which requires employers to provide and maintain a safe and healthy work environment.

We commend the efforts of Mike King and I Am Hope community support group to bring attention to this epidemic.

Mike and his team will today be walking 100km around the Auckland Domain in gumboots in an attempt to raise $100k. If you would like to contribute to this campaign, a link to the GiveALittle fundraising page can be found here.

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