“In 20 years of working I have never seen an organisation brave enough to tackle this topic in an open forum – for which you should be highly commended.” – Workshop Attendee, Wellington City Council.

When we set out to improve the health of people in the workplace, the easiest place to start is with exercise and diet. Think pedometers, boot camps, healthier catering, smoking bans, and lunchtime walking. But, what can you do when you get people coming to you asking for help to improve mental health?

Many employers have EAP (Employee Assistance Programmes) to refer staff to, which gives them number of free counselling sessions. But what other options are there if you want to take a proactive approach?

After being approached by three men on separate occasions, the Wellington City Council Wellbeing Group decided to host a 2 hour workshop on mental wellbeing – or in everyday language “How to cope when things don’t go to plan.”


Left to right Mike Scott, Trish Knight, Pete Roe, Phil Becker

They called the workshop ‘One For The Blokes’. The aims of the workshop were to normalize people having conversations about mental health, to increase knowledge about what can be done to improve mental healthiness, and to let people know what options exist for support and advice if they’re not coping. During the session, attendees also learn the whys of depression – signs you may becoming unwell and what you can do about it. People also learn ways they can approach and support their colleagues, families and friends if they have concerns about wellbeing.

The workshop includes a video of two senior managers from Wellington City Council talking about times they have been through poor mental health, how they felt at the time, and what they did about it. Just as JK has done, through his work with and television ads, having an organisation’s managers talk openly about depression helps normalise conversations about mental health.

Although created for the Wellington City Council, due to it’s success, the 2 hour ‘One For The Blokes’ workshop is available to other workplaces and organisations on arrangement. The workshop is about men and mental health, but women are welcome to attend.

For more information contact:
Trish Knight: or Pete Roe:

Find out more about the ONE FOR THE BLOKES WORKSHOP.