Mental health initiative blossoms

Head Light Trust team members (from left) Mary Mansell, Jazz Braden, Anna Dorsey and Carrie Ly...
Head Light Trust team members (from left) Mary Mansell, Jazz Braden, Anna Dorsey and Carrie Ly will continue to host mental health workshops while building up organisational structure and governance for the new trust. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
A peer-delivered mental health programme is about to blossom after a successful pilot in Queenstown Lakes.

GoodYarn, a mental health literacy programme for rural and urban workplaces, enables people to discuss mental health.

The programme has been trialled around Queenstown Lakes since May 2021, with more than 250 locals from different sectors taking part.

GoodYarn has been designed as a practical starting point for businesses and organisations wanting to address mental health and wellbeing.

The GoodYarn Community Programme pilot which ended in Wanaka this week,was facilitated by the Southern Wellbeing Trust, which created the programme. But the success of the workshops has inspired a new trust, the Head Light Trust, to form to refine the programme for smaller groups and to allow scalability.

The Head Light team will continue to host GoodYarn workshops, while building up organisational structure and governance.

Southern Wellbeing Trust co-founder Anna Dorsey will shift into a new role as the chief executive of Head Light, leading its operations staff and community-based facilitators.

Ms Dorsey said her team relishes the challenge of developing GoodYarn into a sustainable mental health education programme other towns and communities can benefit from.

"The mental health impacts of Covid-19 have been tough and will continue for some time yet. But we’re seeing first-hand the tangible benefits GoodYarn Community is bringing — it’s creating a ripple effect of mental health education across our communities and we want to help share it more widely," she said.

Of workshop participants, 97% said they had gained knowledge of mental health and wellbeing.

"This programme is all about prevention, early intervention and staying well. We can’t think of a better outcome than as many New Zealanders as possible having the skills and confidence to shine a light on mental health and be able to help themselves and those around them who are struggling," she said.

A funding strategy supporting a sustainable business and securing funding were priorities.

Fellow co-founder Dr Tim Rigg will remain on as the Southern Wellbeing Trust director.



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