Port News: Kapa Manaaki: starting the wellbeing conversation.

“Talking about mental health and wellbeing can be difficult so we are here for people to reach out to and take that first step”.

These words come from foreman stevedore Steve Thompson who is one of the 13 people at LPC that are part of our peer support programme, Kapa Manaaki.

An initiative designed and led by LPC employees passionate about wellbeing, Kapa Manaaki helps connect our staff who need support with a friendly face.

“We are there for a time and moment, providing a set of ears to listen. That’s our main objective – just to listen,” says Steve.

LPC’s Kapa Manaaki have been trained as frontline support for mental health and wellbeing in a 24/7 environment.

After assessing previous services provided, we decided wellbeing support needed to come from those who worked at LPC as they had the best understanding of what it was like to work at the Port.

“We talk to people about a diverse range of issues, from everyday work and life stress to more serious issues where we can refer people to counselling.”

Last year, nominations were opened across the business for anyone who wanted to step up and take part, with members representing a range of departments from cargo handlers and forkhoist drivers to mechanics and logistics officers.

“I stuck my hand up straight away because wellbeing has always been close to my heart. It’s a real privilege to be involved in this,” says Steve.

The peer support group have become an integral part of the wellbeing support options available to all LPC staff, as well as getting the important conversation around mental health started.

“I think a programme like this was long overdue here, I think it’s important that it stays around as you can already see the difference it has made,” says Steve.

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