Be A Mate


Be A Mate – Hei Hoa Te Ngāhere is a nationwide mental health and wellbeing programme for people working in the forestry industry. It is designed collaboratively with A-OK New Zealand, a recognised provider of mental health and suicide prevention programmes; and forestry stakeholders, managed and led by people in the industry, looking out for their mates. 

A critical success factor of Be A Mate – Hei Hoa Te Ngāhere is that it brings all stakeholders from across the forestry supply chain together – corporate managers, forestry owners, forestry company employees, to contractors, their crews and employees. 

Companies involved in the pilot (Hawke’s Bay,2022) saw how the programme provided a pathway to accessing their Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP’s), other community support organisations and providing tools internally to support your “Mate”, noting an increase in employees making use of the programme. 

At a time when forestry in the Cyclone impeded regions of Tairawhiti and Hawkes Bay face a loss of their social licence to operate, the economic uncertainty that global conditions bring, the very real impact of climate change, the post COVID world, financial and business pressures, there are also personal and whanau stresses, it is time critical to implement this programme – it is not an overstatement to say that lives are at risk.

Forestry workers and personnel will have the tools, skills and confidence to identify, and respond to symptoms of mental health and wellbeing that impact on work, wellbeing, work mates, and whanau.  The Programme ensures sustainability of the programme by training trainers in regions, and larger companies to continue to deliver the programme and provide support for those that need it.

It will create a national network of support for forestry worker mental health and wellbeing. The positive effects will include reduced absenteeism, increased work output and production, increased health and safety, and a happier workforce.




HeyMate / Awareness
(1 hour)

Providing information about the impact of distress and suicide on organisations and communities within forestry, recognising signs of someone in need, know how to respond safely and where to find existing support services.

This programme is suitable for anyone interested in gaining awareness

CoMate / Connector
(3 hours)

Connectors are individuals designated to assist colleagues in times of need. Following a comprehensive 3-hour training session, Connectors gain the ability to recognize signs of distress in others. They are equipped to initiate conversations that allow individuals to safely express their concerns and share pertinent information. Connectors also identify key support resources within the organization to which a colleague may be connected if additional assistance is required. If a situation requires escalation, Connectors are trained to securely link individuals with appropriate safety and aid support."

This programme is about increasing and sustaining wellness in your team. 

HelpMate / Safety Aider
(6 hours)

A strong ratio of staff trained with Suicide First Aid skills including how to intervene if a person is struggling to cope with their mental wellbeing and is also thinking about suicide, by recognising signs, providing a skilled talking intervention that leads to a robust safety plan that keeps the persons in distress safe from suicide, but also the helper and the overarching organisation. 

This programme is suitable for those who want to take the next level in identifying and supporting those who might be at risk.

GrowMate / Grower (6 hours)

Recovery and support back into the workplace after a mental health experience. Growers are HR managers or equivalent staff that sit in pastoral care, supervisory, or wellbeing support roles within a business. After a one day training session they will be able to manage and support an employee returning to work after an experience with suicide or mental distress.

The Grower’s role is to facilitate their personal recovery and to ensure that the work environment supports their ongoing growth and safety.

NOTE:  All programmes are fully supported to ensure the safety of participants.