Podcast: Headlight's Anna Dorsey talks about mental wellbeing

3 minutes read
Posted 19 September, 2023
Screenshot 2023 09 19 073904

It's Mental Health Awareness Week. In this episode of the Outlet Podcast Queenstown, host Brent Harbour talks to Headlight CEO Anna Dorsey about the work the charitable trust is doing to support communities to foster mental wellbeing.

And below you can read this week's Lakes Weekly Bulletin editorial, written by Anna. 


Why Mental Health Awareness Week is everyone's business

by Anna Dorsey, Chief Executive of Headlight

If you run a business in Queenstown or manage a team, I want you to read this next sentence and then pause and read it again: Reduced mental health is the primary cause of lost working days and productivity loss in most Westernised countries (Source ACC).

Got your attention yet?

The message is pretty clear, if you are interested in running a successful business or operation, then you need to be taking the mental health of your workforce seriously. But what we hear a lot from local businesses is they don’t know how to support the mental health of their staff or don’t know where to start.

That’s where Mental Health Awareness Week comes in. This year’s annual week-long focus on mental wellbeing is being held from 18-24 September, and it’s a chance for local businesses and organisations to think about how they might do more to support the mental wellbeing of their staff.

Let’s face it. Looking after your mental health isn’t rocket science. Just like we all have physical health, we all have mental health and no, mental health is not mental illness. It’s a fact of life that mental health is a part of who you are and once you realise that you can start looking after it.

It’s actually pretty easy to support your mental wellbeing. In fact, you might not even know you are doing it. That habit you have of escaping to your garden at the weekend? Good for your mental health. Going out for a bike ride after work? Good for your mental health.

But what’s great is when you do know what supports the wider mental health of your staff, team and community. Now you’re really talking.

Headlight is a Queenstown-based charitable trust which is making it easy for communities and organisations to talk about mental health.

We’ve launched the Mental Health Awareness Week toolkit for Queenstown Lakes and Southern businesses and workplaces. The kit is free and it makes it easy to get staff and colleagues taking active steps to support their mental health at work. What’s more it’s fun and contributes to a culture that shows you care about your people, and their wellbeing. Plus there are opportunities to ‘give back’ to local mental wellbeing community projects too, so in this case everyone wins.

So, if you haven’t downloaded it yet, you can find it at www.headlight.org.nz and get going. Your mental health will love you for it. Your staff might too.


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