nib New Zealand has appointed Jimi Hunt (pictured above), a mental health advocate, writer and motivational speaker, to become its first mental fitness champion.
The insurer said the appointment comes after its research that revealed 87% of Kiwi workers have experienced work-related negative emotional impacts at least once in the last three months. These include irritability (66%), anxiety (63%) and excessive worrying (62%).
In June, Stats NZ reported a considerable decline in New Zealanders’ mental wellbeing over the previous three years, with 28% of respondents reporting poor mental wellbeing in 2021.
Rob Hennin, nib NZ CEO, said the partnership aims to provide Kiwis with practical and accessible information to help nurture and strengthen mental resilience.
“We’re excited to welcome Jimi Hunt as our first mental fitness champion,” Hennin said. “We hope to be able to share useful tips and resources with members and the public, promoting proactive mental fitness at work and home. To welcome Jimi as part of the nib whanau, and to share his knowledge with the wider community, complements our mission of supporting Kiwis’ better health and wellbeing.”
Hunt has made headlines with various stunts to raise awareness about mental health. In 2012, he swam down the entire length of the Waikato River on an inflatable mattress, and, in 2015, he built the world’s longest waterslide.
“The importance of being proactive, and not reactive, when it comes to mental fitness is too often overlooked,” Hunt said. “I’m really looking forward to being able to connect with and reach more Kiwis who are willing to take the steps to improve their mental fitness. This partnership is going to enable us to work collaboratively to achieve greater health and wellbeing outcomes for all involved. We encourage anyone who is interested in bettering their mental fitness to join us on this journey.”