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Workplace mental wellness boosted with GoodYarn

8 July, 2019


Workplace mental wellness boosted with GoodYarn’s strategic partnerships

The urban version of the iconic GoodYarn rural mental wellness programme will be expanded into more of New Zealand’s workplaces with the announcement of two new strategic partners.

Synergy Health and Education Unlimited have been selected following a nationwide search for the right partners to help take GoodYarn to a broad variety of urban workplaces. The programme is designed as a practical starting point for businesses and organisations aiming to address mental health and wellbeing.

Chairperson of the Good Programmes Trust, Dana Carver, says the two partners have been selected for their commitment and track records delivering synergetic programmes, their shared values, and the complementary client bases. The GoodYarn programme will be smoothly extended into corporates; the trades and manufacturing sectors; and into clusters of smaller businesses that share sectors or locations.

“GoodYarn has been huge in the rural sector, increasing awareness of the signs and symptoms of common mental illnesses, and building confidence to identify it, talk about it, and know how and where to get help,” says Dana. “It’s very positive to see the programme now taking off in urban settings and across workplaces.”

The drive for improved mental wellbeing in Aotearoa New Zealand is reflected in the 2019 budget, and the Health and Safety at Work Act requires a duty of care to protect mental health from harm due to work.



GoodYarn equips employers to walk towards the problem rather than being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, providing a tangible way for business owners to make a real difference to their people. The programme is evidence-based and peer-led. Facilitators, usually employees from the business, are trained via a two-day intensive workshop to deliver the programme. This is cost-effective and the expertise of the facilitator stays within the workforce. Participants respond better to people they know and the facilitator remains a positive connection point following the training, making mental wellness part of business as usual.

Both Synergy Health and Education Unlimited will be able to deliver GoodYarn workshops and train up employees to become GoodYarn facilitators within their own organisations.

Synergy Health’s Client Relationship Manager, Martin Leighton, said the GoodYarn partnership presented a natural fit for them to enhance their mental health offering.

“GoodYarn ticked all the boxes for us - strong research and evidence-based roots, proven effectiveness, and a sustainable programme that can make a real difference to an organisation’s culture,” said Martin.

Partnering with GoodYarn would extend Education Unlimited’s ability to make a difference to individuals, companies and Aotearoa, said Director, Tina Rose. “We have built up strategic partnerships with employers that enables us to increase the skills of their people, and this is more and more heading in the direction of improving mental wellness.”

Dana says having “a GoodYarn” creates culture change at an organisational level; and the partnerships will enhance collaboration and create culture change across industries.

“The positive link between good mental health and productivity is undisputed,” says Dana. “Workplaces that support mental wellbeing are better for staff, employers and customers; and lower stress levels mean less staff turnover and a more positive environment.”

By the end of 2020 the Trust aims to have more than 15,000 workers across 80 businesses through the GoodYarn programme. As at the end of June 2019 GoodYarn has reached nearly 5300 people via workshops delivered through 175 trained facilitators working across 26 licenced organisations.

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