“Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives” – Bessel Van Der Kolk


A workplace that promotes mental health has substantial benefits for organisations. These benefits can be seen in improved productivity, reduced absenteeism and presenteeism, and higher retention of staff. On average, according to recent research, organisations can expect a return on investment (ROI) of $5.20 for every $1 spent on proactive wellbeing strategies.

One in five employees meet the criteria for diagnosable mental illness in any given year, with stress, depression and anxiety contributing to lost working days as well as lower individual and team performance while at work (presenteeism). Work-related stress can also exacerbate the risk of employees developing mental illness as well as worsening existing symptoms. However, we can create a positive difference to support mental health at work.

Numerous research studies show that psychologically healthy and supportive workplaces can enhance people’s wellbeing, engagement and productivity, and protect them from mental illness, with the opposite effect found for workplaces that do not support employee wellbeing. For people with experience of mental illness, safe and supportive workplaces play an important role in the everyday management of their illness, as well as their recovery, where applicable.


Our team of registered psychologists and experts in organisational wellbeing have designed a 2-Day Managing Mental Health in the Workplace Masterclass that will take place in Wellington during Mental Health Awareness Week, 27-28 September 2021. This is an opportunity for your organisation to enhance people managers’ capability, skills and confidence in supporting your people to flourish as well as help them recognise and manage mental illness. 

The masterclass is delivered over two days and, for participants, it offers reflection time and space to apply the learning to each individual workplace. The two-day course also enables participants to network with one another and share ideas around their wellbeing initiatives. There is depth in the content provided by our clinical psychologists, and relevant examples to consolidate learning. Recently, we delivered the Masterclass in Auckland and received the following feedback: 

“Just on a general level, I thought the masterclass was amazing, valuable and practical. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have attended. I have also talked to lots of people (professionally & personally) in my travels about the class since, passing on pearls of wisdom and recommending attendance if ever possible! I particularly liked the evidence-based approach, with some hard-hitting facts to guide best practice. There was also loads of opportunity to reflect on current practice and apply new thinking specific to our own places of employment.”

This masterclass helps people managers to identify strengths and weaknesses in their current approach to managing mental health at work across different areas in the organisation, and create an action plan. Importantly, it also gives managers the tools to establish a common language around mental health, and enables them to identify, understand and support team members that may be going through a tough time. 


This year we also invite organisations that support charities and other do-good initiatives around Aotearoa New Zealand to consider supporting them by offering them a place at our Managing Mental Health in the Workplace workshop. We call it “buy two, gift one” – speak to our team if you want to purchase a ticket in support of your preferred charity or community group! 

We recently gifted places on our Auckland 2-day masterclass to two not-for-profit organisations— the Auckland City Mission and Mitey (John Kirwan Foundation) — to support the mental health of their teams as they continue to do wonderful work for Aotearoa. These masterclass participants saw immediate impact on their people, teams and the work they do:

“For our attendees, taking part has really allowed them space and knowledge to reflect on the way they do things, their current practice and apply new ways of thinking more broadly. They’ve been sharing some of their new knowledge, and one said they’ve actively encouraged others to attend the course if they have the chance!”

– Participant from the Auckland City Mission 

“Thank you so much x1000! It was just so beneficial for team, we have applied the learnings in our team meetings. Utilising the flourishing to languishing scale has been really worthwhile for all of us as a group and individually. It has not only helped with our team but also with the work we are doing with schools and what we can suggest to them around staff and team wellbeing.”

 – Participant, Mitey (Sir John Kirwan Foundation) 


The safe space created throughout these two practical days allows people to share their experiences, addressing challenging situations and providing peer support to each other. Feedback from previous masterclass events showed that participants enjoyed working in small groups, and decided to continue supporting each other outside of the masterclass space too. Our masterclass is the place to meet like-minded business leaders who care about wellbeing of their people, and who believe in a proactive approach to building healthy workplaces. 

Managing Mental Health in the Workplace workshop objectives:

DAY 1 

  1. Increase your knowledge about stress, mental health and mental illness.
  2. Debunk common myths about mental illness, and identify the impact of discrimination. 
  3. Identify common signs of mental illness. 
  4. Recognise factors that have either a positive or negative influence on people’s mental health. 
  5. Identify the causes of work-related stress and when stress turns into signs of something more serious. 
  6. Learn a best-practice process on how to respond to suicide risk. 
  7. Learn how to initiate and engage in compassionate conversations with colleagues you are concerned about (these conversations occur prior to leadership conversations).
  8. Learn effective, practical strategies to strengthen mental health and wellbeing at work and in your life, to enable you to flourish. 

DAY 2 

  1. Increase knowledge about your duty of care to protect the mental health of your people.
  2. Understand how stress and mental illness can impact negatively on employee productivity and wellbeing. 
  3. Identify key principles alongside a best-practice process for effectively managing mental health in the workplace. 
  4. Learn and practise how to plan and carry out effective leadership conversations when concerned about a team member’s mental health. This includes when people become tearful, or don’t want to engage in conversation. 
  5. Discuss how to integrate wellbeing conversations as part of your leadership “business as usual”. 
  6. Highlight intervention and support strategies. 
  7. Identify what stops people from engaging in support, and how to overcome these hurdles. 
  8. Identify the key factors that determine psychologically healthy workplaces.

Our masterclasses are designed in a way that allows people to collaborate, practise new skills, and engage with the content in pairs and small groups. There is time and space to apply the knowledge, and think through the systematic changes that can be made in each person’s organisation. 

“Great facilitation by Nigel, he was really engaging, content was super relevant and appreciated that this was kept up-to-date with the latest research.”

Registrations for our Managing Mental Health in the Workplace masterclass in Wellington are now open. Well done if you have booked your spot already – spots are limited.

Read more about this leadership training opportunity in Wellington and download our brochure. Feel free to forward this to your HR representatives, team leaders or Health and Wellbeing departments, and we look forward to seeing you if you can make it.