What is GoodYarn?
GoodYarn is an evidence-based, peer-delivered mental health literacy programme. GoodYarn has three key aims and evaluation indicators:
- Increase awareness of signs and symptoms of common mental illnesses;
- Build confidence in starting a conversation where you are concerned; and
- Improve knowledge of where and how to get help.
The programme originally started out in 2014 as an initiative for rural communities and rural professionals, especially those involved in the business of farming. Demand for, and feedback from, the rural model led to the development of a workplace model in 2018. Both programmes are similar in content and approach. However, the scenarios and graphics have been tailored to the different audiences.
GoodYarn Rural is aimed at farmers and professionals engaging with farmers.
GoodYarn Workplace is aimed at helping staff, teams and colleagues and can be used in all organisations, both rural and urban.
In 2016 GoodYarn Rural won Best Mental Health Promotion/Mental Illness Prevention Programme in the Australasian Mental Health Services Awards.
Who is GoodYarn designed for?
GoodYarn has been designed as a practical starting point for businesses and organisations wanting to address mental health and wellbeing. The programme is ideally designed for organisations with 50 staff or more.
GoodYarn has been designed to be relevant for employees at all levels and in all roles. In regard to the positioning of GoodYarn vis-à-vis other workplace mental health initiatives, GoodYarn would address the lower two segments of the triangle below.
How can organisations deliver GoodYarn?
Businesses nominate people within their organisation who have the right skills and attributes to become GoodYarn facilitators. The number of facilitators depends on the size of the organisation and the number of employees targeted to complete the programme over a two-year period. Normally, we find between two and four facilitators per organisation works well. Facilitators are trained up over an intensive two days and once their organisation has become “licensed” to deliver the programme, their facilitators are provided with all the necessary resources to commence programme delivery within their workplace.
The beauty of GoodYarn is the ripple effect the implementation model provides. By training facilitators within the workplace, who in turn deliver GoodYarn to their peers and colleagues, the model creates exponential benefit to those organisations, their clients and customers. In the process, employers have a product which can easily be embedded into “business as usual” practices and employees are firmly in the driving seat for creating the workplace culture they want to be part of.
Evidence that GoodYarn works
The GoodYarn programme is regularly monitored and evaluated. From the 5000 people participating in the programme so far, they tell us GoodYarn:
- is helping them create a more caring workplace culture
- provides personal development to staff
- is helping staff to keep themselves well
- is helping them create a sense of contribution and collaboration.
And they tell us they love it!
A formal evaluation of GoodYarn published in the Journal of Public Mental Health in October 2017 found the three intended learning outcomes of the GoodYarn programme (i.e. Awareness, Confidence and Knowledge) all showed improvement from pre-workshop evaluation. Specifically:
- 94% of workshop participants agreed or strongly agreed that the workshop had increased their awareness of mental health and well-being issues.
- 87% of workshop participants felt very or extremely confident to start a conversation with someone whose mental health they were concerned about.
- 93% of workshop participants felt very or extremely aware of mental health support services.
Current GoodYarn licence holders
Our goal for the next two years is to have 80 organisations involved with the GoodYarn programme and a target of 15,000 workers participating in GoodYarn workshops.
The following organisations are all health and safety leaders within their industries, and we are delighted to be working with them to collectively grow the GoodYarn community across New Zealand workplaces.