The importance of health and wellbeing

Published on 11 September 2023

Photo of Mayor Vince Cocurullo in the mayoral robe and chains.

On 2 September, yes the day before Father’s Day, the Northland Fishing for Mental Wellness group kicked off September with a Kids Sprat Fishing Competition. It was well attended with the vision to make it an annual event. 

September for some of us is centered around Father’s Day, yet it is also (for many of us males) about ‘Blue September’ and making sure that we look after ourselves and have those wellness checks done.

Normally, I would be talking to you about roading, infrastructure or what the government is or is not doing, yet today I wanted to bring to the forefront the importance of looking after our health and wellbeing.

This time last year I was driving at Hampton Downs at the 24 hour ‘Lemons Race’, helping to raise awareness for males all over the country about how important it is for every one of us to look after ourselves. 

Mayor Cocurullo and team at the Lemons Race.

Too many take life for granted and let the stress of our work, health and family overrun us, and do not take the necessary rest or timeout that is needed to stay healthy and survive. I know it can be hard to make time (or to justify making time) for ourselves. Too often we put ourselves last, but it’s like the pre-flight safety videos say: you have to secure your own mask before helping anyone else.

We all need to make sure we’re looking after ourselves first, talk to someone about any issues going on in our lives, and take time to look after our own mental and physical health. When we’re doing well, we can help those around us.

This year alone, Northland has had it hard, with storms, roading damage, job losses/changes, and financial pressure being added on top of the isolation that COVID had previously created. All of this has resulted in a lot of extra stress in our communities, and that can result in antisocial behaviours and harmful situations.

It’s been a hard time, and if you’re struggling, you’re not alone. Please take the time to seek help and do those wellness checks.

For many males prostate cancer and bowel cancer are serious issues, and if not identified early, are cutting short many lives. The “Lean on a gate and talk to a mate” campaign is designed to get farmers talking to each other again, and the idea can be used amongst our neighbours too. In the role of Mayor I have seen too many males bottle things up, and stop talking about issues. That’s when things get worse, not better.

We have all been through a lot, so if you get a chance, take time this month to celebrate the little things, the fun times, the sad times, and what you have overcome. We really are all in this together, and that wellness check is a great place to start.

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