Magazine article New Zealand Management

In Touch : Like Minds, like Mine

Magazine article New Zealand Management

In Touch : Like Minds, like Mine

Article excerpt

Susan Devoy, one of New Zealand's best known sporting champions, a former chief executive and now chairperson of Sport Bay of Plenty, has become an advocate for employing people with experience of mental illness. She is currently appearing in a new phase of the Ministry of Health's Like Minds, Like Mine television campaign, alongside a former employee, Aubrey, who is affected by mental illness.

Devoy says Aubrey brought many great gifts to his managers and colleagues, including the ability to talk about mental illness, and to learn about tolerance, patience, empathy and support. "The payback was that Aubrey was part of creating a culture that you could never buy. He challenged us all the time to think about how we could help others and having someone with a mental illness in your workplace teaches you a whole lot of things you don't learn in any university, or from any books," Devoy says.

Her advice for other employers is to:

* Make it your business to find out about the condition people have. …

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