About MH101

What is MH101?

MH101 is a one-day workshop for New Zealanders who want to learn how to:

  • recognise mental illness
  • relate to those experiencing mental illness or distress
  • respond appropriately.


In 2008 the Ministry of Health recognised the need for New Zealand to become a more mentally healthy society so it contracted Blueprint for Learning to develop and deliver New Zealand’s first mental health literacy programme.

A one-day workshop, called MH101, was designed to increase the confidence of frontline government and social agency staff.

The workshop is now tailored to anyone who will encounter people with experience of mental illness and/or addictions.

What we know

Nearly half of all New Zealanders will experience mental illness at some stage in their lives

They’ll either experience it themselves or come into contact with friends, family or colleagues experiencing mental illness. 

People want to help, but they don’t know how

We know New Zealanders want to help – particularly those working in frontline roles who may encounter people experiencing setbacks in life. They want to be able to offer the right information and the right support, in a way that helps individuals to get their lives back on track. But they don’t know how.

Five years of quality delivery

Since 2008, we’ve helped more than 16,500 people recognise, relate and respond to those with mental illness, including frontline staff from more than 1,500 government and non-government organisations across New Zealand – and those people are now helping their communities, workplaces and colleagues.

The workshop was developed with the support of sector experts and organisations and is now an internationally recognised programme which has played a major role in the New Zealand government's bid to support young people through difficult life periods. It has helped individual communities respond to suicide and has resulted in hundreds of organisations becoming healthier places to work. It's had a huge impact on the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of those who attend.

Who’s it for?

MH101 is for anyone who wants to provide support and help:

  • frontline staff
  • youth providers,
  • rural sector professionals and farmers
  • organisations who want to support their staff reduce the number of mental health related absences at work.
MH101 participants will learn to
  • Recognise Recognise
    Recognise good mental health and what you can do to maintain it, as well as the signs of stress or deteriorating mental health.
  • Relate Relate
    Relate to what people experiencing mental distress and mental illness may be going through. Understand how their reactions may impact on the thoughts, feelings and behaviours of others.
  • Respond Respond
    Respond wisely and appropriately in any situation where someone experiencing mental distress or illness needs support.

We can tailor the programme to suit your needs

The MH101 programme can be tailored for specific workplaces. An impact analysis undertaken after the workshop will provide a valuable snapshot of the health of your organisation.