Testimonials from our training participants

I am a self-employed BAS Agent,  with [many] Small Business Clients and they are all experiencing varying degrees of distress due to 2 years of lockdowns. This course has given me the confidence to ask my clients ‘and how are you doing?’ after we have discussed the financial aspects… One of the things that really stands out for me is knowing it is OK to ask someone very specific and challenging questions about their state of mind,  which prior to doing this course I would have thought would be the wrong thing to do.

Some specific ways I have been able to apply this training in my practice are…a client is having issues with the management of his business,   I am helping [them] understand the technical reasons for this – however at the root of it is a reluctance to engage with the business which I suspect is due to a high level of anxiety.  The resources I have used to assist are to refer them to a good tax accountant to assist in the financial aspects,  as well as providing them with support that they can refer to like [Beyond Blue’s] New Access program 

…[this] program is so valuable to my profession,  and I anticipate this will continue to be more and more relevant in the years to come transitioning into some kind of normal business space.”


Bookkeeper, AU, ICB Member

“An engaging and informative program that will provide you with the skills to identify the signs of mental illness and what to do and how to help. In today’s world this is a must have for everyone; especially professionals who deal with clients and team members that might suffer from mental health problems.”

“The Mental Health First Aid program gave me a chance to better understand myself and others. I learnt to be curious, to genuinely listen and not to judge. But most importantly I learnt to help people (with mental health problems) that oftentimes cannot help themselves!”

Michael Rowe

AU, CA ANZ member

“Thank you for allowing me to participate in such an insightful and amazing course that has given me the tools and confidence to broach the subject with a client regarding their mental health.”

Sharryn Markham

Business Adviser, AU

<it>“…provided me valuable insights into what challenges people with mental health issues face, and different ways to assist them. I will be able to identity both team members and clients that may be having some of these challenges in a more educated way, and hopefully be able to help them sooner.”

Michelle Collins

AU, CA ANZ member

“I’ve just completed one of the best training courses I’ve ever done: Mental Health First Aid. I’d strongly recommended it for all, no matter what career you’re in as it can apply in every walk of life. I’m more confident now in being able to recognise the signs of when someone needs help with their mental health and to offer initial support.”

Alan MacKinnon

AU, CA ANZ Member

“…on the whole i think its a very thorough and very relevant program. I learnt a lot from the various training aids and I would want to thank IPA for exposing and training me about Mental Health. It was a good program really and the various SMEs…will definitely benefit


AU, IPA Member

Testimonials from some of our executive partners

“This project could not have been introduced at a more appropriate time. It’s been heartbreaking to watch firsthand the challenges that our members, professional bookkeepers, have had over the past 12 months. They’ve cried, stressed, had sleepless nights right alongside their clients, predominately the small business owners of Australia.

At times we forget that most small businesses are family businesses. The impacts on a family of the viability, let alone the potential closure, of a small business can be devastating, not only in economic terms. At risk is not only the loss of income of one family member, but potentially the income to support the whole family. The mental health impacts cannot be downplayed.

They are facing more than the uncertainty about the viability of their businesses, but the security of their homes, food on the table, relationships already under pressure. This project is more than a good idea, it’s crucial in giving bookkeepers and other business advisors, the right tools to continue to hold the hands of small business owners of Australia.”

Amanda Linton

CEO of Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

“Periods of great economic turmoil, like the pandemic, can create a form of financial tunnel vision. People become acutely focused on the hip pocket impact but neglect their emotional well-being. Some will seek help from their accountant, and often that’s the only professional support they get, but meanwhile their mental health is unravelling.

Given their frontline role, it makes sense to train accountants to provide mental health first aid. I see the Counting on U program as an extension of the work our members do every day to support Australia’s economy, businesses and community. Forming a coalition of accounting bodies allows us to magnify the care our members can provide.

As with any natural disaster, the mental health effects can have a long tailwind and COVID-19 is no different. With these skills, the accounting profession is ready to provide mental health support to the community for as long as it’s needed.”

Andrew Hunter

CEO of CPA Australia

“The Mental Health First Aid Program has been incredibly important to me to build my confidence to have conversations with colleagues, family and friends. The course has transformed my approach to supporting people in need to access professional support as soon as possible. The MHFA course has helped me look for signs of mental ill health particularly during the pandemic and encourage individuals to seek that support. After taking this course I have had direct conversations and supported a number of individuals access clinical services. If taking this course results in one person accessing professional services sooner, then surely it is worth doing.”

Andrew Conway

CEO of Institute of Public Accountants

“There has never been a more important time for accountants to add this expertise to their toolkit. We are not out of the woods yet, many families and businesses are staring down the barrel of long-term financial problems which can often go hand in hand with mental health difficulties.

Accountants will learn not only how to recognise the signs, but also understand how to start a conversation with a client they are concerned about and refer them to professional help.

The recent report from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s mental health system clearly shows we are reacting to mental health crisis rather than preventing them and this training aims to bolster the early help that is needed.”

Ainslie van Onselen

CEO of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand