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Powering the positive

When the entire staff of local lines company Counties Power Stopped for Safety this week there were no demonstrations on safe driving practices, working at height or line hauling techniques. Instead the business focussed on a different type of safety, one just as important to staff however, their families and the wider community – their mental health.

Staff packed the lounge at Navigation Homes Stadium to hear New Zealander of the Year, entertainer and mental health educator Mike King deliver an essential message around the importance of mental wellness.

Counties Power Chief Executive Judy Nicholl said Mike’s message really hit home around how damaging our inner critic can be, recognising that everyone has problems and that it is ok to ask for help. The message was around looking out for your family and your friends, including your work mates.

“We all come together as a business for one day every year to reinforce an important safety message. Our staff work in a high-risk industry, dealing with live electricity and high-stress situations so it’s essential they are well both physically and mentally. We’re making sure they have the tools to understand and recognise what might be happening for them mentally. They’re being asked to watch out for their work mates who may be struggling with mental health and to give them support and encouragement to get help and get well.”

“I think if we take one thing from this inspiring day it would be the importance of highlighting the positive in people, whether that be your children, your friend or your work colleague. Tell them you appreciate them and rather than focus on the one negative thing that’s happened – choose to celebrate the five great things they’ve done that day.”

To learn more about Mike’s work with The Key To Life Charitable Trust go to

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