Frequently Asked Questions

2021 - 2022 Research Program Only

Applying for the program

Who can apply for training?
This program is dedicated to advisers of small to medium (SME) business clients. You need to be an accountant, bookkeeper, financial planners, business coach/mentor or someone who supports SME owners with financial decisions. See below for eligibility of New Zealand advisers. 
Is the program run Australia wide? How about New Zealand?
The program is available nationally for all eligible Australian business advisers and their clients. In New Zealand, the program is available nationally to all eligible CPA, CA ANZ, ICF and NZQBA members. 
What is the eligibility criteria for training?
Participants need to have small-to-medium entrepreneur clients (SMEs) and provide business advice to these SMEs. 

  • SMEs are classified as those with 1-199 employees, including sole traders. 
  • Business advice is defined as advice/guidance provided by an external (or in-house) adviser that supports the management and operations of a SME business, for the purposes of reducing/managing financial stress. 
I provide advise to SME’s over the phone, but not in person, do I still qualify?
Yes, you do as long as you talk with the same SME owner (via phone/F2F/video conferencing) a number of times and are providing business advice over a period of time. 
I don’t work with small-medium business owners (SMEs), do I still qualify for training?
Unfortunately, no. The main goal of, and condition of funding for, this program is to support SMEs who are struggling with financial stresses and possibly mental health problems. Thus, we are providing mental health first aid training to business advisers who work directly with them. 
Can I just sign up for parts of the program, not the full program?

No, participants need to sign up for the full program. This is because: 

  • Whilst some of you may have completed MHFA® previously, a) it is an MHFA® requirement to re-new your accreditation every 3 years, and b) the module you completed may differ to the MHFA® for financial services professionals module (which is what is offered via CoU in Aus) or the MHFA® for workplaces module (what is offered via CoU in NZ). 
  • Counting on U is both a training and research program, and in order for us to measure the research activities, participants must have completed the full program. 
  • The two booster sessions are a continuation of what was learnt in both the relationship building (RBT) and MHFA® sessions. 

Program Training and Research Components

What is my Unique ID and where do I find it?
The unique ID is the distinctive code assigned to each participant that is linked to your attendance and completion of surveys. You must keep it handy throughout the program. You will find it in your professional member organisation’s (or Deakin’s) email invitation to participate in CoU as well as the email confirmation that you receive from CoU’s training vendors: Career Development Centre (trading as Mentally Well Workplaces) in Australia, and HumanEx in New Zealand.
What does training involve? What is the time commitment for this program?

Allow a total time commitment of between 12-14 hours, spread across 4 months:

  • 5 hours of self-paced online elearning/pre-course reading (Compulsory, must be completed prior to first MHFA® session)
  • 2 hours Relationship Building Training (if you are selected for this group) – live Zoom
  • 2 x 2.5 hours Mental Health First Aid® (MHFA®) Training – live Zoom
  • 2 x 1 hour Booster Sessions – live Zoom (not optional, and required to receive full CPD points for members of CPA/CAANZ/IPA/ICB/FPA).

*New Zealand participants please note: due to CoU being in pilot phase in New Zealand, minor components of the program may reference Australian business contexts (e.g. instead of PAYE, role play videos may refer to PAYG; the temporary digital MHFA™ manual you are supplied with is the Australia version whilst the hard copy you will also receive for free, is the MHFA® Aotearoa version). Please be assured that this does not impact the main content or outcomes of the program – this being to learn skills around trusting client relationships and mental health literacy. 

What time zone is the training sessions listed in?
All Australian sessions are listed in AEST or AEDT. Please take note of time differences if you’re in WA, SA, QLD or NT. Head to to easily calculate time differences between AEST time and your capital city. 
Why is there a research component to the Counting on U program? What does it involve? How many surveys do participants and SMEs need to complete?

Counting on U (CoU) is a brand-new program which has received federal government and partner organisation funding to pilot it at a large scale. As such, one of the conditions for funding is for us to understand and prove the program’s effectiveness before it can be offered to a wider participant cohort. 

Depending on whether you are allocated to the partial research or full research programs, you will be asked to complete two OR three research surveys respectively: prior to commencing training, during the first booster session, and 2 months following completion of all training. These surveys ask about your relationship with your small business clients and your knowledge of mental health before and after training. 

Some participants will also be requested to invite 1 to 2 of their SME clients to participate in the program by completing 3 short surveys (this is optional). SME client participation helps us evaluate the effectiveness of your training on the end-user. SMEs surveys are to be completed and the beginning of the program, 6 and 12 months later. The first 900 SMEs to register will be incentivised with a $25 e-gift voucher for every survey they complete. 

Finally, we may also reach out to a small sub-set of participants and their SME clients for 1:1 interviews (again, this is optional). All interviewees will be incentivised with e-gift vouchers ranging from $50 – $100 depending on type of interview. 

Must I complete the research component?
CoU is a training and research program. Whilst the research component is not compulsory, it is [a small time sacrifice in exchange for receiving a free and accredited training program that will cost future participants $350 + GST or more, plus more importantly, helps us evaluate how whether the program has long-term benefits on the wellbeing of SME owners] 


How do I find out how many surveys I have already completed?
You can email [email protected] to find out how many surveys you have completed. We’ll be able to confirm, as long as you have used your Unique ID when completing these. 
Are the sessions optional?
The Counting on U sessions are not optional. You must attend all your scheduled sessions to fulfill the requirements of the program. 
What is the difference between the partial vs full research Counting on U program?

If you are in the full research program, you are randomised into one of two arms; both include Mental Health First Aid® training and 2 Booster sessions. One of the arms includes the additional Relationship Building training. You will complete 3 research surveys, and we ask that you consider inviting 1-2 of your SME clients to participate in the study. A small sub-set of participants and SME clients in this arm may also be asked to participate in an interview (optional). 

If you are in the partial research program, there is no SME client participation or interviews, and all participants completes both Relationship Building Training and Mental Health First Aid® training plus Boosters. You also only complete 2 research surveys instead of 3. 

I’ve been randomised to the full research program, Mental Health First Aid® Only training arm. Can I do the Relationship Building Training as well?

Unfortunately, no. There is a research component to Counting on U that aims to assess whether there is an additional benefit for doing Relationship Building Training and Mental Health First Aid® (MHFA®) training and in order to do that, we need another group who completes MHFA® alone. For research quality purposes, we can’t undo the group you have been randomly allocated to. However, we are able to send a recording of the Relationship Building Training to you, once all training and surveys (for both yourself and your SME clients, if you have invited them) have been completed. 

Can I just do the MHFA® component of the program?

Unfortunately, no. CoU is both a training and research program, and in order for us to measure the research activities, participants must have completed the full program. If you would like to complete the stand-alone MHFA® course, please head to, where you will be able to book and pay for MHFA® training sessions. 

Is it compulsory to invite my SME clients? What if I have SMEs but prefer not to invite them to participate?
No, it is not compulsory to invite SME clients, however [it would help us a lot] as their direct input is vital to help us evaluate how effective Counting on U has been in supporting their financial and mental wellbeing. 
I have previously completed the stand-alone MHFA® course, do I need to complete CoU MHFA® training ‘again’?

If you’d like to participate in the CoU program, then yes, you are required to complete the CoU MHFA® module because: 

  • The MHFA® course you previously completed may have components that differ to the MHFA® for financial services professionals module being taught via CoU. 
  • CoU is both a training and research program, and in order for us to measure the research activities, participants must have completed the full program. 
  • The two booster sessions are a continuation of what was learnt in both RBT and MHFA®. 
Does the program involve completing exams or assessments?

There are no exams. As part of receiving MHFA® accreditation, you will be asked to answer a few online quizzes as part of completing the MHFA® elearning module. After completing the elearning as well as the two MHFA® Zoom workshops, you can complete an online Accreditation Assessment to become an Accredited Mental Health First Aider. 

CPD Points, Accreditation Certificates and Other Incentives

Are there any incentives for my participating in the program?
You will not be paid for your participation in this program. However, as an incentive to participate, you will attain certification as an accredited mental health first aider and receive training for free (whereas future participants will be charged a fee of $350 + GST or more). If you are a member of CPA, CA ANZ, ICB, IPA, FPA or NZQBA, you will also receive between 12 to a maximum of 14 CPD points to count towards your structured learning professional development requirements.

As of November 2021, participants allocated to the full research program will also be incentivised with a $30 e-gift voucher for completing the two post-training research surveys.

Upon completion of all required research surveys, Australian participants and their SME clients will also be entered into a prize draw to win a $6000 travel voucher. The prize will be drawn in September 2022 and will be valid for a period of three years. See terms and conditions.

How many CPD points will I receive from completing the program? How will I receive these points?
If you are a member of CPA, CA ANZ, ICB, IPA or FPA, you will also receive between 12 to a maximum of 14 CPD points to count towards your structured learning professional development requirements. 

Members of CPA/CAANZ/IPA/ICB/NZQBA: CPD points are a self-managed/recorded process – per the usual methods when practitioners record their CPD hours. 

Members of FPA: Deakin will email CPD certificates to you half yearly – once in early Dec and once in early June, to coincide with your CPD deadlines. If you’ve completed all core training and booster sessions by early Dec then you’ll receive one certificate with the 13.25 CPD points allocated in the relevant FASEA categories. If you’ve only completed core training by then, you’ll receive two certificates – one in Dec for the hours you’ve completed to date, and one in June for the remaining hours you’ve completed. 

What certification or accreditation will I receive on completion of the program?

You will receive notification from MHFA® to download a digital copy of your MHFA® accreditation certificate. You can also download a digital badge which can be used on LinkedIn. 

If you are a member of the FPA, you will also separately receive a CPD certificate from Deakin.

Who is included in the grand prize draw for the travel voucher?

Australian business advisers and their small to medium business clients who complete all surveys will be included in the draw for the prize of $6,000 towards a holiday of their choice anywhere in Australia. This prize will be drawn at the end of the program in Oct 2023. The draw is not open to New Zealand advisers or their clients. 

Rescheduling or Withdrawing from Training

What do I do if I can’t make the training date?
It is important to double-check your availability at the time of selecting your training dates and time – this includes allowing for school pick-up times, regular meetings, etc.

In cases where you have something urgent come up and cannot attend your scheduled date/time, and/or if you would like to formally withdraw from the program, please contact the training vendor (in Australia: [email protected]; in New Zealand: [email protected] ). This will help us allocate your place to another participant on our waiting list, and the team will attempt to reschedule your session. You can re-schedule your sessions up to two times, depending on availability of alternate session dates/times. Please be aware that failure to attend a session may affect your ability to attend the following sessions on your preferred dates, and may also affect your eligibility to receive CPD points. 


Zoom Links, E-Learning Module, Training Manuals

I haven’t received my Zoom links or eLearning modules?

You will receive an email confirmation from our training vendors which includes Zoom links and eLearning modules a minimum of two weeks before your training commences. If you have not received these, please check your inbox and junk/spam folder for an email from Amy Healey [email protected] (for Australian participants) or [email protected] (for NZ participants). If you are still unable to find this email, please contact these vendors via these email addresses to follow up.

Must I complete the self-paced MHFA® eLearning module?

Yes – the online eLearning component takes approximately 5 hours and must be completed prior to starting one of the two Instructor led sessions. Please factor this time in when you are scheduling your sessions. 

Do I have to complete the 5-hours e-Learning component in one sitting?
No, it’s fine to take your time. You can choose to close the eLearning and return to it later. However, it’s best to move steadily, so if you can, set aside 20-30 minutes each day to work on it until it is finished. Take as many breaks as you need. 
I don’t have time to finish my eLearning. What do I do now?

Please set enough time aside to complete your 5 hours of e-learning before you attend your first MHFA® Zoom workshop (you don’t have to have completed this prior to attending the RBT workshop). We understand that from time-to-time urgent matters come up and you may not have been able to complete the e-learning prior to the first instructor-led MHFA® Zoom session. Deakin pays for each session in advance, at no cost to participants, and would like avoid last-minute cancellations which could impact viability of running sessions and reduces the learning experience for those attending if there’s too few participants. 

If you are unable to finish your eLearning prior to the workshop, please contact Amy Healey in Australia ([email protected]) or Humanex in New Zealand ([email protected]) to reschedule your MHFA®  workshops at a later date – but note that this is based on availability of alternate sessions and may have a consequence on your subsequent Booster session dates. 

When will I receive my hard copy manual? How do I request for one?

Australian participants: 

There will be a section within your program email confirmation sent by our training vendor, Mentally Well Workplaces, requesting you to fill in your mailing address if you’d like an optional hard copy manual to keep. Please note that you will receive access to a temporary digital version, but only for the duration of the course. Hard copy manuals are organised and shipped to participants’ mailing addresses by Mental Health First Aid® (MHFA®). Due to current delays with Australia Post’s parcel service, please allow between 2-3 weeks’ shipping time from when you provide your address to our training vendor (Mentally Well Workplaces). This applies to both metro and regional addresses. 

New Zealand participants: 

There will be a section within your program email confirmation sent by our training vendor, Humanex, requesting you to fill in your mailing address to receive a hard copy manual. All NZ participants will receive a hard copy manual which includes NZ-specific statistics and helplines, whilst the temporary digital manual will be an Australian version with Australia-specific statistics and helplines. Hard copy manuals are organised and shipped to participants’ mailing address by our training vendor, Humanex. Please allow approximately 3-5 days’ shipping time. 

Technical Issues and Web-Cam

Why do I need to have my web-cam on during the live Zoom sessions?
The course has interactive segments to it and as the topics/content can be confronting, we need to be able to see and hear you. Please ensure that your camera is on throughout the workshop. We have an obligation to make sure you are ok. There are role-playing segments and other interactive learning that will also support others who are sharing their learning experience with you. We are creating a safe learning environment.
My computer doesn’t have a camera
If your computer doesn’t have a microphone or camera, you can still attend via your computer but use the camera on your smart phone or tablet at the same time (i.e. access the Zoom link via two devices).
I am having technical/connection issues?
We suggest you test your computer’s audio/video settings prior to your first Zoom session. If you have internet connection issues, please let the trainer know ahead of time as we understand that this can affect your ability to keep your web-cam on throughout the whole course. We can suggest alternative methods, including:

  • having your computer on to see the Zoom trainer’s screen whilst also logging in via your phone, so that the trainer can see and hear you and ensure our duty of care
  • hot-spotting Wifi from your mobile phone.

Your Wellbeing

What happens if I am feeling anxious or upset during or after the training?
If you find your mood becoming affected by the material you can use quick, positive coping strategies such as:

  • relaxing and tensing your muscles
  • letting your thoughts wander to pleasant topics for a few moments
  • noticing your thoughts, your surroundings, and the way your body feels.

If you decide you need to stop the session, please tell your instructor via the private chat feature. The instructor will want to follow up with you. It’s important to us that you are well supported, so we hope you will be happy for them to get in touch by phone or email.

  • If you are concerned that someone is in immediate danger or at risk of harm, call triple zero (000) in Australia or triple one (111) in New Zealand
What do I do if I am concerned about my own Mental Wellbeing?
It’s important to recognise that mental health can be affected in multiple ways. While there is stress relating to our work environments that need to be managed, we must also remember to monitor the stresses in our personal life as well. 

Getting help as early as possible is important if you’re worried about your own mental health. The sooner you get help and treatment, the quicker you’ll start to recover. 

The first step is to visit your General Practitioner who will conduct an initial mental health assessment. Your doctor may then create a treatment plan to help you work out what services you need, set goals and decide on the best treatment options for you. 

You can also call the following numbers to speak to a trained professional who can support you until you’re able to make an appointment with your GP: 


  • Lifeline – 13 11 14 
  • Suicide Call-back – 1300 659 467 
  • Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636 


  • Free call or text 1737 for support from a trained counsellor 
  • Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or free text 4357 (HELP) 

Providing Feedback

How can I provide feedback about the program?
You’ll be given the opportunity to provide feedback on the quality of the training through separate (optional) feedback surveys. 
If you have any complaints about any aspect of the program, the way it is being conducted or any questions about your rights as a research participant, then you may contact: 

Deakin Counting on U Program Team: [email protected] 


The Human Research Ethics Office, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood Victoria 3125, Telephone: 03 9251 7129, Email: [email protected]. Please quote project number [2020-399]. 

Contact Details

Who do I contact if I have other questions?
For queries regarding program content (training and research), expressions of interest/registration (excluding members of CPA Australia), and general queries, please contact the Deakin Counting on U team: [email protected]

For expressions of interest/registration (members of CPA Australia), please contact: [email protected]

For queries regarding CPD points (for members of CPA/CA ANZ/IPA/ICB/NZQBA), please contact your member organisation:

For queries regarding CPD points for FPA members, please contact the Deakin Counting on U team: [email protected] 

For queries regarding training dates, Zoom links, MHFA e-vouchers, manuals, technical difficulties, rescheduling, program withdrawals, please contact: [email protected] (Australian participants) and [email protected] (NZ participants) 

If you are concerned that someone is in immediate danger or at risk of harm, call triple zero (000). If you are concerned someone is in urgent need of support, call: 


      • Lifeline: 13 11 14 
      • Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636 
      • Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 


    • Free call or text 1737 for support from a trained counsellor 
    • Lifeline: 0800 543 354 or free text 4357 (HELP) 

Get In Touch

Here are our contact details if you would like to get in contact with us or your member body about Counting on U:


CPA:  [email protected]

IPA: [email protected]

ICB: [email protected]

FPA: [email protected]

AFA: [email protected]

NZQBA: [email protected]

ICF Australasia Charter Chapter: [email protected]

Deakin Research Team: [email protected]