Good Programmes Charitable Trust (GoodYarn)

Nominee/entrant details

Good Programmes Charitable Trust (GoodYarn)

Organisation details

Size: 1-5 staff

Industry: Education and Training

Organisation background

GoodYarn was initially developed by a Primary Health Organisation, WellSouth, in Otago in 2014 to improve mental health outcomes for people living and working in rural areas. In 2018 GoodYarn moved to a charitable Trust and the Good Programmes Trust was born. Good Programmes Trust is made up of the original designers of the programme and a small team of dedicated board members. We have a Trust Manager and a team of Trainers that train facilitators in Workplaces we cover both rurally-oriented Workplaces and Urban workplaces. GoodYarn has been embraced by large and SME's across NZ. Companies such as diverse in nature as Fonterra, NZ Post, Silver Fern Farms, Ice Breaker and Merdian to name a few have all benefited from our unique Peer delivery approach.

Executive summary

GoodYarn is a 2.5 to 3-hour workshop delivered by peers in the workplace. By ‘peers’, we mean that we train up people like you to facilitate the workshops in your workplace. The workshop covers what mental health and mental illness is, what we can do to improve mental health and what sort of things can challenge our mental health, how to talk to someone if you’re concerned about their mental health and where to go if you need more help. A key point of difference of GoodYarn is that we train people in the workplace to deliver these messages to their peers and colleagues rather than providing experts such as psychologists to come in and do it. There is good reason for this. When the initial GoodYarn programme was being researched, the developers spoke with a lot of people in farming communities affected by mental illness. They were told, We believe peer deliver is a very powerful way to deliver mental health training because it demonstrates the core principle that you don’t need to be an expert in mental health to talk about it. What’s more, it allows organisations to use words, jargon, situations and scenarios that resonate with their employees, making the training more relatable, meaningful and relevant. GoodYarn makes an impact through a scalable model of delivery where the impacts of the training feed through multiple layers of employees, clients, customers and friends and family.

Background on situation and opportunity

At GoodYran we strongly believe that Health begins where we live, learn, work and play. GoodYarn was developed and piloted in several locations in Otago and Southland and after a few months a partnership with DairyNZ was formed to make GoodYarn available nationally. Fonterra was the first workplace to adapt it to thier needs and take it from a rural programme to a "workplace" programme in 2018. Since then GoodYarn won the “Best Mental Health Promotion/Mental Illness Prevention Programme” in the Australia and New Zealand Mental Health Service awards, and in 2017 published a positive evaluation in the American Journal The Journal of Public Mental Health. Although we never won we were lucky enough to be selected as a finalist in the Safeguard workplace H&S Awards in 2017. The workplace is increasingly regarded as a key intervention setting where both mental and physical health can be improved and promoted among adult populations. In the workplace, things that can impact on a person’s mental health include job design, inequity and injustice, bullying, shift work, long hours, relentless pressure and lack of work life balance. Underlying all this, however, is the fact that many people, from workers through to senior managers, directors and business owners do not have a good understanding or working knowledge of mental health, they are afraid to talk about it, or they feel they do not have a grasp of appropriate language and concepts to draw on to frame conversations about or actions promoting and protecting mental health in the workplace. GoodYarn focuses on building mental health literacy. You’ll look more at this topic in the GoodYarn facilitator training. Systematic reviews and disease prevention studies suggest that addressing mental health literacy is a useful strategy for reducing stigma, promoting the early detection of mental health problems, and improving uptake and use of mental health treatments. Mental health literacy is defined as ‘knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders which aid their recognition, management or prevention.’ i) the ability to recognise disorders and facilitate help-seeking; ii) awareness of the types of professional help and treatments available, iii) knowledge of effective self-help strategies; iv) knowledge and skills to give help and support to others; and v) knowledge of how to promote mental wellbeing and prevent mental health disorders


GoodYarn Strategy 1. Reach Beyond the Rural sector GoodYarn will scale up its reach and impact by maintaining its rurally focussed programme as well as developing a model for Workplaces. 2. Focus on the Workplace GoodYarn will focus on delivery through workplaces and workplace/industry based membership organisations. 3. Be the practical starting point GoodYarn will situate itself as the practical starting point for businesses and organisations wanting to address mental health and wellbeing. GoodYarn will expand its scope to build leadership and employee commitment and better systems to support mental health in the workplace. 4. Build Strategic and Collaborative Relationships GoodYarn will build strategic partnerships and collaborations with providers of workplace mental health initiatives, enabling workplaces to take a staged approached to the implementation of a comprehensive mental health and wellbeing programme.


GoodYarn Strategy 1. Reach Beyond the Rural sector New workplace tools were developed and tailored to the workplace environment. Workplaces were targeted as audiences and promoted to. 2. Focus on the Workplace We started the workplace design in Fonterra then adapted it for a generic NZ based workplace package including models such as Te Whare Tapa Wha and the 5 ways to wellbeing 3. Be the practical starting point We know that building mental health litearcy is the key and our peer led approach ensures authenticity where workplaces are able to take a by us, for us approach. 4. Build Strategic and Collaborative Relationships We partnered with Synergy health who are NZ leaders in Online Health and wellbeing workplace solutions they bring their expertise and computer savvy to bear on our scaling up.

Engagement and communication

Studies have shown that most full-time employees experiencing common mental illness do not receive treatment, or delay seeking treatment – and the longer treatment is delayed, the more likely a person will have a long-term sickness absence from work.37 Failing to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental illnesses in self and others has been identified as a core reason for productivity losses. The impact of mental illness in the workplace can be reduced by facilitating early intervention that encourages help-seeking and supports recovery, and a key factor that can facilitate professional help-seeking is that someone else, such as a co-worker or manager, suggests it. GoodYarn training is one way to promote early help seeking by equipping participants with the knowledge and skills to provide the initial help to someone developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis before appropriate professional help is found. GoodYarn workshops have been well evaluated and consistently demonstrate positive learning outcomes related to improved awareness of the signs and symptoms of mental illness, confidence to talk to someone about their mental health and increased knowledge of helping behaviours and services


So far we have reached 80 workplaces and approx. 10,00 people across all regions in Aotearoa. Cumulative evaluation results of all GoodYarn workshops are extremely positive: • 99% of responders showed improvement in awareness of signs and symptoms of common mental illnesses. • 99% of responders showed improvement in confidence to start a conversation with someone they may be concerned about. • 98% of responders showed improvement in their knowledge of where and how to get help following their workshop.


At GoodYarn we know Māori and Pacific people experience higher rates of psychological distress than other adults: overall, 6% of adults had experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress in the last four weeks, indicating a high probability of an anxiety or depressive disorder. Māori are 1.6 times as likely and Pacific people are 2.1 times as likely to have experienced high levels of psychological distress as non-Māori and non-Pacific people respectively. For these reasons we have incorporated Te Whare Tapa Wha model in our delivery and kaupapa. We work in many workplaces where Maori and Pacific peoples are the main source of income for families and are able to reach many workplaces and whanau through our peer delivery approach.

Innovation and creativity

We know that we are one of the few if any offering the Peer Delivery approach where our experts train people in the workplace. The Peer delivery model enables us to reach many more at a low cost to organizations and ensures there is a sustainable network of people that stay in the workplace beyond the initial training. We have been recently developing peer networks within organisations that provide a "GoodSorts" network of volunteers that have close support and additional skills to be able to help and support colleagues in times of need. Fonterra have so far trained 74 GoodSorts in their internal network.

Supporting materials (optional)

Photograph of key staff (optional)

Link to video (optional)

Referee details

Dana Carver, Consultant (Scarlatti)

0275245796 • [email protected]

Key contact

Terry Buckingham, Board Member - Good Programmes Trust Board of Trustees (GoodYarn)

0278399143 • [email protected]

4 Months
Since posted
Awards Ceremony & Gala Dinner Tickets

All remaining tickets for the Awards Ceremony & Gala Dinner are now available for purchase, up to a maximum total ticket allocation of 10 tickets per organisation.

There are currently only 32 tickets remaining, and these can be purchased on a first-come-first-served basis. Order now.

Principal Sponsor
AIA VitalityAll About People
ANZCO FoodsBenestar
Business Leaders' Health & Safety ForumEmployers & Manufacturers Association
Ember InnovationsMentemia
Ministry of Health
PwC New ZealandRussell McVeagh
SparkThe Warehouse Group
Whittaker'sWoo Wellbeing
Selected Category Sponsor opportunities are still available. Please visit the sponsorship page for more details or contact us to request a sponsorship prospectus.
Charity Partner
Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand
Event Delivery Partners
Awards Trophy & Engraving ExpertsCreative Eye
Dave Simpson PhotographyMatley Chartered Accountants
Edwards Sound, Lighting & AVOutspoken
Sorrento in the Park
Awards night is now Tues, 16 November. Learn more about how we're dealing with COVID-19:
This is default text for notification bar