MHW Community of Practice

MHW Community of Practice

Key details

  • The Mentally Healthy Work Community of Practice (MHWCOP) is held on the first Thursday of every month. If the recurring invite is not already in your calendar, please register through the GHSL event page
  • The MHWCOP is held online via MS Teams, however, we may occasionally look to host in-person events
  • The MHWCOP will usually be about 1 hour - 1.5 hours in duration
  • Sessions will follow a similar format each month that includes:
    • A guest speaker or think piece: to challenge and develop practitioner knowledge or capability
    • Agency spotlight: a deeper insight to one agency's initiative or activities
    • Facilitated discussion: an opportunity for more general discussion of current practice, issues, questions, or upcoming work
    • Networking (optional): a chance to chat and catch up with peers across the sector

Rotating Chair

The Mentally Healthy Work Community of Practice is for the sector, by the sector with the support of the Government Health and Safety Lead. The MHWCOP is co-Chaired by 3-4 different agencies each year.

The Chairs for 2023 are:



Millie Thompson
Government Health and Safety Lead


Dr Kate Bone
Fire and Emergency

Millie has a background in work‑related mental health and wellbeing, previously working for
the New Zealand Defence Force and WorkSafe New Zealand to support better health, safety and wellbeing performance. Millie leads the
Government Health and Safety Lead’s Mentally Healthy Work programme which seeks to build the psychological health and safety capability of health and safety teams and Chief Executives in public service agencies. Millie is also completing her Masters in Industrial/Organisational Psychology, focusing on the management of work‑related psychosocial risks.

Kate is the Principal Advisor Health, Safety and Wellbeing at Fire and Emergency. Kate has a PhD in workplace wellbeing from Monash University in Melbourne and has published in international peer-reviewed journals with over 190 academic citations (Research Gate Profile: link)). Kate has led research projects in Australia and New Zealand and takes an evidence-based, holistic approach to workplace wellbeing recognising work environments as high-impact places to enhance hauora/wellbeing.


Matthew Leaver
Ministry of Health

Anna Nelson
New Zealand Police

Matthew is Principal Advisor – Wellbeing, Engagement and Capability at Manatū Hauora | Ministry of Health where he works in the Health, Safety and Wellbeing team. He started his career in frontline healthcare working as a clinical psychologist, with a special interest in the interface between physical and mental health. More recently he has worked in organisational and leadership development, primarily in the health and disability sector. His current focus is engaging with kaimahi to build an organisation-wide, sustainable approach to wellbeing.   Anna (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha) has been in the role of Wellness Manager at NZ Police since November 2020. She is part of the Safer People team within NZ Police and leads the Wellness team whose focus is on psychological and emotional wellbeing for NZ police employees. Anna is a registered social worker with over 25 years’ experience of working in a variety of mental health and addiction settings including in clinical practice, education, workforce development, systems development and planning and funding. Anna has just been awarded her PhD.


Each forum session will have a different theme or topic of focus and will invite an expert or thought-leader along as a guest speaker to present to the group, followed by an open Q&A session. Each session will also ask an agency to present on a particular item they are working on, challenge or idea. 


# Date Chair Theme/Focus Guest speaker Agency spotlight
1 Thursday 17th November, 2022 Kate Bone Signal: an organisational intervention to address psychosocial risks through enhanced relational leadership capabilities in line-managers Prof Tim Bentley, ECU Centre for Work + Wellbeing GHSL: MHW Programme
  Holiday period        
2 Thursday 2nd February, 2023 Millie Thompson

Mentally Healthy Work 101: managing psychosocial risks and enhancing wellbeing

Joelle Mitchell, Flourish Dx

FENZ: Whanaungtanga Programme (Part one)

3 Thursday 2nd March, 2023 Matthew Leaver Better Work: WorkSafe’s vision for Mentally Healthy Work Phil Parkes, WorkSafe NZ  -
4 Thursday 6th April, 2023 Kate Bone Setting a strategic direction: for mentally healthy work Kate Milburn, Umbrella Ministry of Health: strategic plan for wellbeing
5 Thursday 4th May, 2023 Millie Thompson Who ‘owns’ mentally healthy work in an organisation? Differentiating psychological H&S and wellbeing and the overlap between H&S, HR, and OD Chris Jones, Department of Corrections NZTE: using the Mental Wellbeing by Design tool 
6 Thursday 1st June, 2023 Anna Nelson  Identifying and understanding psychosocial risks in our workplaces: data and insights Jason van Schie, FlourishDx  Kainga Ora
7 Thursday 6th July, 2023 Matthew Leaver  Psychosocial risk deep-dive: traumatic or disruptive event Steve Kearny, NZDF Muti-agency panel discussion (TBC)
8 Thursday 3rd August, 2023 Kate Bone Effective interventions: primary interventions and work by design Jenny Griffiths, Westpac  NZTA
9 Thursday 7th September, 2023 Millie Thompson Effective interventions: Psychosocial safety climate Prof Maureen Dollard, University of South Australia FENZ: Whanaungtanga Programme (Part two)
10 Thursday 5th October, 2023 Anna Nelson  Incorporating Te Ao Maori worldviews into mentally healthy work Prof Jarrod Haar, Massey University Auckland Council
11 Thursday 2nd November, 2023 Matthew Leaver Psychosocial risk deep-dive: workload and work intensity  TBC  TBC
12 Thursday 7th December, 2023  Millie Thompson Psychosocial risk deep dive: remote, lone, and flexible, and insecure work    MPI