The Government believes wellbeing belongs at the heart of policymaking.
Budget 2019 Policy Statement

WB1:  Action for Wellbeing: The theory and the practice of promoting mental wellbeing


The government’s strong focus on wellbeing has created a greater awareness of the fundamental role that wellbeing plays in enabling individuals and communities to thrive. Well individuals contribute to well whānau, schools and workplaces, communities, economies and society.


Evaluations of numerous national and local wellbeing initiatives consistently identifies that the successful implementation of any wellbeing initiative and for the initiative to have a long term and sustainable impact requires local leadership and a skilled workforce that is knowledgeable of and competent in the application of mental wellbeing theory and principles. 


This workshops focuses on building organisational and community capability to implement successful mental wellbeing initiatives using COVID-19 recovery and workplace wellbeing as the case studies for the two days. 


Informed by social, cultural and environmental determinants, adopting a wellbeing framework enable agencies such as local government, social services, schools,churches and workplaces to identify how they can be "agents of wellbeing" and so incorporate wellbeing outcomes into their work.

Workshop Description

This two day workshop provides a comprehensive overview of the theory and the practice of promoting mental wellbeing in communities and different settings, e.g workplaces and schools. Using the latest research and evidence of efficacy, emphasis will be on participants being able to apply the theory to the practical application in their work context as well as being able to critique and assess the efficacy of different approaches to promoting mental wellbeing. 


Drawing on over thirty years of working in mental wellbeing, learnings from designing, implementing and evaluating mental wellbeing programmes including the pitfalls and solutions to common problems that arise will be shared. Participants will have the opportunity to identify a set of wellbeing outcomes and apply them to a wellbeing programme logic. A proven model of collaborative partnerships using the principles of collective impact and transformational change which has been applied in numerous settings and populations will also be examined.

The training does not offer a ready made mental health package approach but rather helps participants to:

  • understand the underlying theory, principles and best practice in promoting mental wellbeing,

  • undertake a Mental Wellbeing Impact Assessment

  • develop appropriate mental wellbeing outcomes for the target audiences

  • critically assess appropriateness and applicability of mental wellbeing programmes or approaches for target audiences

  • develop a programme logic to guide the planning, implementation and evaluation of the programme

  • apply a risk assessment process to the programme activities or overall programme impact


The workshop is ideal training for anyone wishing to:

  • increase or update their understanding of mental wellbeing promotion

  • design or implement a mental wellbeing campaign or initiative

  • apply a mental wellbeing approach to working with clients, a programme or to a service 

  • develop or is leading a workplace mental wellbeing programme

  • developing a mental wellbeing campaign or initiative


“Tangata aka ana I te kāenga, te tūranga ki te marae, tau ana.”​ -

“A person nurtured in the community contributes strongly to society"

Workshop Programme


Day 1:

  • Theoretical foundations of mental wellbeing

  • Different outcomes for different purposes – the difference between welfare, wellness and wellbeing approaches

  • The 'new normal" - the role of coping, adjusting and adapting in mental wellbeing

  • The emerging social pandemic – loneliness and social isolation

  • The Wheel of Wellbeing (WOW) model

  • Social and cultural determinants of wellbeing

  • Ecological model of wellbeing - the role of place and environment

  • Not the same thing - the difference between a mental illness and a mental wellbeing approach

  • Application of mental wellbeing principles to broader health promotion strategies


Day 2:

  • Population vs settings approaches to mental wellbeing

  • Mental wellbeing indicators and outcomes - developing a programme logic 

  • Mental wellbeing programme design, implementation and evaluation

  • Overview of Mental Wellbeing Impact Assessment Tool

  • Collaborative partnerships for wellbeing - whole of community approach

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Feedback from other participants

“Barry’s ability to translate research findings into everyday language means I have a much clearer understanding of the principles of wellbeing and how to apply it to my work”

Community Worker

“I now have a better understanding of the role of local government in promoting wellbeing and useful strategies on how to apply mental wellbeing outcomes to our Community Plan”

Local Government  Policy Officer

“This workshop ties together both moral and obligatory requirements for schools. It is a great mix of international research and experience, with systems thinking that can support a school to look more deeply into promoting the wellbeing of all people on site. Recommended for those in schools who have responsibility to enact wellbeing policy and procedure.. It would be really terrific to have a wellbeing team all attend together. ”

Head of Guidance and Counselling

“Barry’s understanding of various cultural models of wellbeing meant I felt included and my culture respected”

Pacific Island Community Leader

“So glad I came. Going away with heaps of knowledge and know how to apply in our workplace wellbeing plan. Fantastic opportunity to learn from someone so experienced and knowledgeable ”

Health & Safety and Wellbeing Manager

“Your passion for mental wellbeing made this a thoroughly stimulating workshop”

Health Promoter

“Really appreciated the sociological analysis and your understanding of the impact of inequality, marginalisation and discrimination on people’s wellbeing”

Social Justice Advocate

“Most helpful workshop I have attended in a very long time”

Wellbeing Programme Facilitator

“A holistic approach to wellbeing which included the spiritual dimension”

Church Minister

Workshop Locations in 2021

Click on location for workshop details and online registration