A university and three area mental health services collaborated in developing a mentorship programme for new graduate nurses in mental health. The programme evolved from initiatives identified by the New South Wales Government to address recruitment and retention problems impacting on the mental health nursing workforce. This mentorship programme was identified as a strategy to potentially contribute to retention of novice nurses within the local mental health nursing workforce. New graduate nurses entering the mental health field were provided the opportunity to engage in a temporary supportive professional mentoring relationship. The present paper describes the background of the programme and provides an overview of how it was developed. It serves as a starting point for others contemplating developing similar programmes. Evaluation of the programme is incomplete, therefore, formal results will be presented in a subsequent paper.