Six things we're reading for Mental Health Awareness Week

The consulting and engineering sector is under increasing pressure. Workloads are high, we are connected far longer than 9-5, and clients are expecting more for less. We know that mental health is a key issue for our sector.

During Mental Health Awareness Week (27 September to 3 October), New Zealanders are encouraged to ‘take time to kōrero’ with the people in our lives – friends, family, colleagues – and create space for conversations about mental health and wellbeing.

Here the ACE New Zealand team shares some recommended reading to help us shape the conversation around mental health in the workplace and confidently navigate the issues that arise.

Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental health isn’t about preventing sickness – it's about flourishing

John Fitzgerald from WorkSafe NZ leads a team helping businesses to create a mentally healthy workplaces – and it takes more than providing free fruit and lunchtime yoga classes.

John says: “Mental health is not just the absence of a disorder – it’s about flourishing. You’re not just trying to prevent your staff from getting sick, you’re trying to help your people be the best they can be and bring that to work, for your benefit.”

Read more

How to have a conversation about mental health

What’s the plan when you notice a team member struggling with their mental health? MATES in Construction has a useful guide that helps to recognise when a conversation may be needed, how to start the conversation, and what to do next. You don’t have to have all the answers, but your support during a tough time could be really valuable.

Read more

How to lead when you’re worried – five top tips

The most successful leaders aren’t the people who are the best at their jobs, or who have the easiest run. They’re the ones who take stress and uncertainty in their stride, and steer themselves, their teams and their organisations through madness and emerge stronger.

New Zealand leadership strategist and author Alicia McKay shares five key insights into how to manage the load instead of letting the stress consume you.

Read more

The business benefits of good mental wellbeing

Businesses that invest in building and maintaining good mental wellbeing report higher productivity and sales, more creativity and customer satisfaction. Importantly, the business becomes known as a good place to work making it easier to recruit and retain the best workers. 

This article by the New Zealand Health Promotion Agency covers key issues to think about when you’re building a business case for mental wellbeing.

Read more

Without fear, there can be no courage - with Tony Matthews

Tony Matthews is a successful project manager for AECOM as well as an aspiring triathlete, football player and father of three. In 2020 he shared his story about his experience with depression and type 2 bipolar. He talks about what led to his diagnosis and offers some great advice for others struggling with their mental health.

Read more

Impostor syndrome: Feeling like a fraud

Many small business owners struggle with the fear that their success is down to luck rather than hard work or talent. Known as impostor syndrome, it often affects high-achievers who are goal-oriented. In this article on, clinical psychologist Jacqui Maguire provides advice on how to overcome your negative inner voice.

Read more