Counting on U is a workplace mental health intervention program being conducted across Australia which aims to provide training to business advisors to better support the mental health needs of small-to-medium (SME) business owners.
Mental illness is the single biggest cause of disability in Australia and small business owners are a large and vulnerable population that are often difficult to reach through traditional health intervention approaches. A recent study commissioned by the Federal Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources reports that nearly one in three SME owners had identified that they had a diagnosis in the past 12 months of experiencing stress, depression, or anxiety. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the provision of support to this group particularly important as many small business owners may be experiencing a heightened state of distress.
In response to these needs, it has been identified that business advisors (e.g. accountants, bookkeepers, auditors, tax advisors, financial planners, insolvency experts and other business finance professionals) are in a unique position to provide support to small business owners.
Deakin University, along with our partner organisations, is therefore giving business advisors the opportunity to enrol in a course, which integrates mental health first aid training with a relationship-centred, business mentoring approach to supporting the business and mental health-related needs of SME owners. Normally costing between $287 to $337 plus GST, this structured learning course will be free to eligible participants.
We can help you can learn the skills to promote and protect the mental health and wellbeing of your SME clients, whilst taking care of your own mental wellbeing in the process.