Mental health comes first

3 min read
September 29, 2022

This Mental Health Awareness Week, we support the work of Voices of Hope and reflect on the power of connection after a successful in-person conference, which included some sobering insights on the mental health crisis.

The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 is 'Reconnect', and there was no better demonstration of the power of reconnection with the people and places that lift us up than at our Conference last week. 

The first in-person FSC conference in three years saw many hugs, smiles, and first-time face-to-face meetings for those in our wider community, including not only delegates but exhibitors and sponsors as well. 

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The dance floor was going until the lights came on at the Wednesday night Gala Dinner and Awards, an indication of the shared joy that was felt by being in the same room as like-minded industry colleagues. 

This Mental Health Awareness Week, we encourage you to reconnect with the people and places that bring you joy, give your life meaning and make you feel like the best possible version of yourself. 

How do we manage the mental health crisis?

An expert panel debate this question on Day 2 of FSC. Conference last week and shared learnings on how we underwrite mental health conditions.

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Chief Executive of The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand Shaun Robinson, CEO of Private Healthcare Australia Dr. Rachel David, and Chief Product and Investments Officer at AIA NZ Len Elikhis shared their insights and perspectives with the FSC's Troy Churton.

This topic is close to the heart of the FSC and its members, and we were grateful to be able to discuss this with our expert panelists last week. 

Supporting Voices of Hope's 'Behind the Jersey' campaign



The Behind the Jersey campaign presents a series of impactful and emotive interviews with a range of New Zealand athletes who share their personal stories for the very first time in a bid to spark conversations and bring awareness to mental health in the sporting world.

Sports people globally, no matter what level, have huge pressure from society to be great. They are expected to rise above, to excel, to work harder, be tougher and always be happy. On the field, off the field – all the time. Society doesn't recognise these people as real people – and that's our problem globally.

This campaign has been produced to continue the global conversation around the importance of mental health awareness in sport. In early 2022, Voices of Hope reached out to over 600 New Zealand sporting individuals; 99% of participants came back with feedback about their personal mental health challenges. The overwhelming response sparked the need for a localised campaign.

17 athletes in total have revealed their personal challenges they face on and off the sports field, in two 60 second videos. Four widely recognised athletes, Niall Williams, Symone Tafuna’i, Tai Wynyard and Izzy Dagg, then feature in depth 40 minute interviews telling their full story.

Voices of Hope has been the FSC's Conference charity partner for a number of years now, and Co-Founder and General Manager Genevieve Mora was there last week to share her experiences with mental illness and journey to recovery, which was undoubtedly an inspiring highlight for delegates.

She also shared with delegates a sneak peek of the Behind the Jersey campaign.

We're keeping our conference Give A Little page up for the remainder of this week, so if you didn't get a chance to stop by the lego wall, you can still help them hit the $10,000 target. For more information and to make a donation visit: