By NZISM Secretary


Kia ora members,

Tomorrow will be our national AGM and I look forward to catching up with as many of you that can make it. We are having a full day in Wellington with the National Executive Committee biannual meeting prior to the AGM and the Advisory Board meeting directly afterwards, we will be adhering to strict timelines to get through the day and meet the agenda requirements for each meeting.

I hope you have all had a chance to review the proposed organisational structure and submit your proxy vote if you are not attending in Wellington. I believe this new structure establishes the necessary roles to move NZISM into its next projected phase of growth and will ultimately deliver members an increased benefits package as well as focus support in the key areas that membership to NZISM provides.

We have recently increased our focus on mental health issues in the workplace, both in the media and within our own organisation. This week we have a media release addressing bullying in the workplace timed to coincide with the lead up to world suicide prevention day on 10th September. We are launching the peer support network for members and our kick off meeting is scheduled for next week. I am overwhelmed by the response from members who wish to participate in this network. It shows the need and support out there for something like this, with many of those keen to help acknowledging times in their own lives, where a support network of peers would have been really beneficial.

What happens when we start sharing and talking about mental health issues, is we find we are not alone in our experience, while we often feel isolated it doesn’t take much to find someone else who has been through something similar. In the next Safeguard magazine, I share a personal story where mental health injury had a big impact on my workplace. It is a topic I am very passionate about and I believe sharing our stories helps to normalise our experience, not so we reduce the impact, but so we can take away the stigma that often comes with mental health injury. Members of my whanau, friends and I too have experienced periods of mental health distress or injury, and what has helped all of us manage and recover from these experiences is support, understanding and care from those around us.

The article following on from this update is written by a member who has their own story to tell. I want to acknowledge the bravery that it takes to share these stories in the hope that someone listening may feel less alone. I encourage you to share, to talk and to listen. We will keep you all updated with the progress of the peer support network and as soon as we have defined our methods of engagement we will let you know. In the meantime, if you need to talk, please know that I am available, as are your local branch managers. As an organisation we will work together to support each other in our careers as they develop and in our knowledge as it grows.

Kia kaha
Selena Armstrong
Chief Executive Officer