Case study: Protecting and improving mental health and wellbeing in the workplace

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is leading the public service in its work on mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

Over a period of several years, the NZDF has been developing and implementing a number of initiatives and strategies to support its people, a workforce that faces unique challenges due to the nature of its work.

Colonel Clare Bennett, Chief Mental Health Officer at the NZDF led the work programme, and has worked with the Government Health and Safety Lead to put together this case study to provide a resource for other agencies.

“Mental health has always been a challenge for the NZDF. Working with our people and specialists, we have developed some great resources for staff and their families to use, not only at times of high stress, but ongoing as a way to maintain positive mental health” says Clare.

“We hope this case study is of benefit to other agencies, not only in the public service, but in the wider state sector, and beyond.”

The Government Health and Safety Lead is currently working in collaboration with NZDF to adapt their resources for the wider sector. The resources will be launched at a conference in August.