MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK 2021
When we went on the hunt for organisations to support, a key criteria for us was that they made an impact in the mental health space. This is because it is something that is very close to home, so to speak.
In 2016, Andy reached a point where he simply wasn't coping. He was going to work (in a pastoral role) and competently meeting expectations, but in doing so had dismissed many of his feelings and the inner turmoil that was plaguing him. He had been aware of panic attacks over the years and had found out how to band-aid them effectively so he could continue in life, but this was at another level. Beks was the only one he confided in for the most part and she was extremely accommodating, giving Andy space when needed, but was unsure how else to help.
Two things prompted Andy to seek help to figure out what was going on. The first was an article from someone who had what she called 'high-functioning depression'. Reading the article Andy felt like he had written it himself. Getting up and on with it in the morning. Going to work and putting on a brave face and being applauded for the quality of the work. Nobody else noticing that anything was wrong. Dismissing feelings because it couldn't be depression - 'those people' can't get out of bed (or any number of other stereotypes). But all the while drowning in negative thoughts and feelings.
Secondly, at his lowest he opened up to his mum about it while at their house and she directly encouraged him to seek a medical opinion. Something that needed to come from someone else, because he had convinced himself it would be a bother to the overloaded health system.
The result of that was that Andy was diagnosed with clinical depression and an anxiety disorder, put on medication and encouraged to engage in therapy. It seems a combination of hereditary factors and a childhood trauma had led to what he was feeling in his mid 30s.
Five years on, and now on twice the dose of medication (thanks to last year's lockdown) and his mental health is still something that Andy has to manage. But Andy is in a much healthier space, having an understanding of what he is feeling and why, and having the medicine support to give a base from which to process those feelings. And Beks life has changed dramatically since she no longer has to be the parent to her kids and her husband for long periods of time.
Voices of Hope deal specifically with mental health. Bringing awareness, advocacy, and inspiration, and helping people feel like they aren't alone in all of this.
InsideOUT help schools and communities to create safe spaces for rainbow youth - a demographic with disproportionately high rates of mental health issues. In helping create these safe spaces they are directly impacting upon the mental health of rangatahi throughout the country.
It is a privilege to be able to contribute, even in a small way, to these two amazing organisations and their mahi.
Our Social Impact Commitment is that 5% of every sale is given to these two amazing organisations.
The cake pictured, which was made to support Voices of Hope's "How Are You Really?" campaign, uses: