PeerZone is a peer led organisation which is contracted by the Health Promotion Agency (HPA) as part of the Like Minds, Like Mine Programme to provide anti-stigma and discrimination workplace education called ‘No Worries’.
The overall purpose of No Worries is to engage and work with employers to develop their capacity and confidence to employ people with mental distress and feel comfortable in knowing how to respond appropriately. The programme is designed to take a personal approach using common-place ‘kiwiana’ lingo and using a range of cartoon characters and our mascot ‘Ely’ to deliver our messages.
Our target group is employers and work colleagues in medium-large nationwide businesses which are keen to improve their practices in employing and responding to people with mental distress and have a commitment to workplace wellbeing for all workers.
PeerZone works in partnership with Workbridge, Workwise and the Ministry of Social Development – Industry Partnerships who offer sector knowledge and experience and introductions to employers they work with.
Peer Zone is evaluating its programme to measure change in levels of:
- Inclusive behaviours that show respect and support workplace participation.
- Equitable structures that give people a fair go to get and keep work.
- Participating employers recruiting and retaining more people with mental distress.
Since starting earlier this year Peer Zone has developed relationships with a range of employers and business partners. Once the right person has been identified in an organisation we work with them to co-design a focused approach based on their organisational needs and our range of services.
In September Suzy Stevens, Project Lead for No Worries was invited to present to a group of over 150 construction workers, on site in Wellington. Suzy said it was a very different experience presenting three floors up on a construction site with a hard hat, boots and a high viz vest on.
This was a timely presentation as in September it was reported that the New Zealand Construction Industry has the highest percentage of suicide for employed men of any industry, according to research by the Building Research Association of New Zealand (Branz). At 6.9 percent of all suicides, it is marginally higher than that of farming and forestry, which sits at 6.8 percent. (Source: Stuff, 26 September 2018).
To find out more about No Worries, contact Suzy Stevens - firstname.lastname@example.org.