Mental Wellbeing by Design Project

  • The Mental Wellbeing by Design project helps businesses identify, and mitigate, work-related risks to their workers’ mental health. It also helps them identify and promote aspects of work that protect workers’ mental health.  
  • An ACC-sponsored pilot of the project is being run with manufacturing businesses, and information from the pilot has been used to adapt the project specifically for manufacturing businesses.
  • This page includes information about the project, and resources for manufacturing businesses wanting to run it.


Why run the project?

Businesses want to understand the impact of work on their people. Just as they identify risks to physical safety at work, they also need to identify work-related risks to workers’ mental health. Businesses also benefit from understanding aspects of work that benefit workers’ mental health.

What happens during the project?

Workshops are held with groups of workers where a facilitator uses a method that helps identify factors at work that impact mental health. The facilitator also gets the groups’ thoughts on how things could be improved. All information about participants’ comments is confidential and is not attributable to individuals.

A draft report is then prepared that identifies the harmful factors and workers’ ideas for improvement, along with protective factors. This report is sent to workshop participants, the rest of their team, and their manager so everyone understands the process and suggestions for improvement.

The group will then come back together to explore ways to eliminate or minimise the harmful factors they prioritised, as well as how to maintain the protective factors. The group will create an action plan, and review dates will be set to track progress.

Who developed the project?

The Mental Wellbeing by Design project was created by a consultancy specialising in wellbeing at work, Leading Safety, for a not-for-profit, the Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum. This pilot of the project in the manufacturing industry has been supported by ACC and the Mental Health Foundation.

How can businesses get involved with the project?

For help to use the project email Fiona Ewing at [email protected].

The following resources are available to support companies with their internal communications about the Mental Wellbeing by Design approach. These resources have been developed with input from companies participating in the project. They include:

  • An invite for attendees: This invite can be sent to workshop attendees. It explains the goals of the project and what will happen at the workshop. (link to the first attachment)
  • Project communications: This factsheet includes information about the Mental Wellbeing by Design project, including the goals and what will happen. It can be sent to people attending the workshops, their supervisors / managers, and others in the organisation. (link to the second attachment)
  • A workshop worksheet: This is the worksheet workers use in the workshops. It has been specifically adapted for manufacturing. (link to the third attachment)

More information

There is also more information about the Mental Wellbeing by Design project on the Leading Safety and  Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum websites.




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