Mental health and the work place – Tales & Tools workshop

The recent Covid outbreak is taking a toll on all of us – on top of the demands we’re already facing.

For many of you, working in local government has never been tougher. Email has meant that everyone is accessible 24/7.  Social media allows ratepayers to send their criticism directly – and without filters. In some cases, this communication includes intimidation and harassment.  While council officers must be accountable to their communities, they are not required to put up with this kind of abuse – especially if it is taking a toll on their mental health.

Let us help you. Tales & Tools is a two-part workshop designed to give your staff the tools to manage their mental wellbeing during this uncertain period. It’s co-led by Rice Speir Managing Partner Nathan Speir, and award-winning journalist and speaker Jehan Casinader.

Nathan speaks about the increasing vitriol directed at council officers – and the strategies to combat it. Drawing on his extensive experience working with councils nationwide, Nathan teaches attendees how to interact with difficult people, and how to protect themselves from online abuse.

Jehan shares his own journey of navigating depression while working in a public-facing media role. He speaks about the power of storytelling – the fact that each of us is the “author” of our own story. He offers a new framework for participants to think about the challenges they face.

Tasman District Council CEO Janine Dowding was full of praise after Nathan and Jehan delivered this workshop for staff and councillors.

“The session was immensely valuable and the level of positive feedback from staff has been overwhelming,” said Janine. “The content of Nathan and Jehan’s presentations complimented each other perfectly; and they skilfully and diplomatically facilitated an open and honest dialogue amongst staff and councillors about what is a very difficult issue.

If you’re interested in a Tales & Tools workshop for your staff, email

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