Simon Robinson before he started his self-imposed 48-hour meditation challenge on the Caroline Bay pontoon, on Thursday, to raise awareness of mental health.
A Timaru man hopes his 48-hour meditation and fasting challenge on the Caroline Bay pontoon will raise awareness of mental health.
Simon Robinson, 36, paddled a kayak to the pontoon on Thursday about 11.30, taking a small tent, water, a porta potty and sleeping bag, and set up in the spot he intends to meditate, ’’rest, write, and be open’’ to what is around him over the next two days.
Though he will be drinking fluids to remain hydrated, he will not be eating to add a “deeper layer of intensity”, he said.
His challenge is supported by Timaru’s AMPSS101 (Addictions, Mental Health Peer Support Services) whose members have set up a tent on the beach to keep an eye on him.
Robinson has been practising meditation for 15 years and sees it as a way of healing and overcoming the negative challenges of life.
Speaking to Stuff before setting off for the challenge, Robinson said it was a way of cultivating stillness, resolving the mind and mastering human experience.
“Practising meditation is about observing human experience without letting human experience dictate to the human experience.”
The musician, who also works in the automotive industry, discovered meditation in his early 20s.
He was inspired to create the challenge after admiring a group of guys videoing themselves doing a 25 press up for 25-day challenge for mental health awareness.
Robinson thinks there needs to be more awareness of mental health awareness in New Zealand.
“There’s too much taboo around suicide. People need to be open to be vulnerable. They’re not because, it’s all about saving face.”
New Zealand’s suicide statistics in the year to June 2020 were the lowest in three years with 654 deaths, according to Coronial Services.
Robinson plans to be back on dry land about 11.30am on Saturday and hopes the challenge will help people find tools that work for them, such as meditation and exercise to get up from rock bottom.
Where to get help
- 1737, Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor.
- Anxiety New Zealand 0800 ANXIETY (0800 269 4389)
- Depression.org.nz 0800 111 757 or text 4202
- Kidsline 0800 54 37 54 for people up to 18 years old. Open 24/7.
- Lifeline 0800 543 354
- Mental Health Foundation 09 623 4812, click here to access its free resource and information service.
- Rural Support Trust 0800 787 254
- Samaritans 0800 726 666
- Suicide Crisis Helpline 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
- Supporting Families in Mental Illness 0800 732 825
- thelowdown.co.nz Web chat, email chat or free text 5626
- What’s Up 0800 942 8787 (for 5 to 18-year-olds). Phone counselling available Monday-Friday, noon-11pm and weekends, 3pm-11pm. Online chat is available 3pm-10pm daily.
- Youthline 0800 376 633, free text 234, email email@example.com, or find online chat and other support options here.
- If it is an emergency, click here to find the number for your local crisis assessment team.
- In a life-threatening situation, call 111.