Mind over miles is not asking for people to carry us or to walk in our shoes. We don’t want them to tiptoe around us either. We would simply like them to show fellowship about “the thing” for anyone they know who is affected.
Often parents, families and friends feel helpless when those dear to them suffer. We cannot release another person from suffering, and sometimes we feel alienated by another’s pain, or we don’t have the imagination or the energy left even to empathise. Long-term illness is draining for both the sufferer and the whanau. However, we can all still show we care by travelling alongside one another, or laughing or being silent together, even if is it only for a short while. Acknowledgement truly counts.
Consult this website for details about the city solidarity walk that applies to the city near you, and at what spot and at what time you can meet us. The approach is casual. You could also simply join us at any point as we walk through your streets. We’ll be walking the town/city route specified on the Te Araroa website and it does not matter how far you walk alongside us. A couple of kilometres would be good, but even 200 metres is fine. Or you can simply smile and wave at us as we go past. Any time or attention you offer helps to contribute to mental health recovery awareness.
When joining us through the cities, please be self-sufficient.
- Dress appropriately for the weather on that day
- Use sunscreen
- Bring your own water bottle
- Bring a snack (energy bar or similar) if you plan to walk more than two kilometres of the town trail
- Wear comfortable walking shoes
- Make sure you check the street route provided by the Te Araroa website
- Make sure you have arranged a lift home or have access to public transport at the place where you plan to stop walking with us
Or… just be kind
You need not donate money or walk with us to show solidarity. You need only be kind to the people around you. Take some pressure off an anxious colleague if you can; take a sad acquaintance out for coffee; spend a few minutes in friendly conversation with a lonely neighbour. You need not be a problem solver or counsellor, but you can be a friend. We do not all have mental illness, but we all have the capacity to develop it at any stage of life. You never know when ten minutes of your attention and kindness may help another person to step away from bleakness towards something brighter.