Moana New Zealand is putting its people’s mental wellness first, with a roadshow for staff, their whanau and the communities they work in to help deal with the growing issue of mental illness across the country.
Chief Executive Carl Carrington says the focus on mental wellness is a result of alarming national statistics, and a desire to ensure Moana’s people are better equipped and have effective tools to handle stress, depression and mental illness.
“Our people are the life force of our company, and we want to give them a safe place to listen, talk and connect, along with comprehensive follow up resources and plans to keep on track,” he says.
Moana New Zealand, the country’s largest Iwi-owned seafood company, has enlisted the help of one of the country’s most iconic and effective depression and suicide spokesmen, Mike King, to deliver the roadshows in six locations.
Mr King will give a one-hour korero about his experiences, then host an hour-long question and answer session. He covers everything from why depression is hard to recognise and what helps, to the triggers and treatments for it.
Carl Carrington says Moana’s people work hard for themselves and their families, and their mental wellness can be affected by the nature of their job – for example if they are away fishing for extended periods of time.
“With one in six New Zealand adults diagnosed with a mental illness at some point in their lives, the fact that our young people and teens have the worst suicide rates in the world, and that Māori and Pacific people are over represented in mental health statistics, we’ve got to do something.”
“For us, it’s about showing manaaki for our kaimahi and their whanau. We want to make a difference for our people and help create more resilient communities by having an open discussion about mental wellness at work, home and in the community,” says Mr Carrington.
The roadshow initiative is part of Moana New Zealand’s Hikoi Te Ora wellbeing programme, which aims to ensure happy, healthy and productive people by putting programmes in place to address risks.