Parliamentary Service tackles mental health with manaakitanga

Mental health often has a stigma attached to it and in order to reduce this, Parliamentary Service is using the month of October to start the conversation with staff about mental health. Their vision is for everyone to feel healthy, safe and supported at work - starting with manaakitanga, “caring for each other in a generous and respectful way”.

During MHAW, staff are being given plenty of opportunities to get involved.

Connect with yourself

“Stop-drop-breathe” workshops are being made available to show people how to manage their emotional state and ultimately positively impact wellbeing by using a tool everyone has – their breath!

Connect with others

The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand is running “creating positive environments” sessions to start the conversation of why mental health is important in the workplace, and work on a personal wellbeing plan.

Connect with nature

Parliamentary Service will be taking part in the Mental Health Foundation’s annual photo challenge. The theme for the month is Let nature in, strengthen your wellbeing – Mā te taiao kia whakapakari tōu oranga!

The aim is to get staff to slow down and appreciate the environment around them.

The Service is also looking at ways to further support staff beyond MHAW. One of these things includes a Mental Health First Aid pilot for staff. They are also looking at what they can do to support their leaders, and are calling for staff to have input into the design of the training.

If you would like to know more about what Parliamentary Service is doing to support mental health and wellbeing, contact Penny van Zeller at

For five days during Mental Health Awareness Week (8-14 October), the Government Health and Safety Lead is profiling a state sector agency and their plan to raise awareness and reduce stigma around mental health and wellbeing.

Check out other agencies' plans.