The CoU Training Program

This 6-week interactive online training course equips participants with the tools and skills to build trust and better support colleagues and clients facing mental health issues.
AustraliaNew Zealand

Our training upskills business professionals by integrating Mental Health First Aid® (MHFA®) training with client relationship-centred communication and interpersonal skills that support the business and mental health-related needs of their clients, whilst protecting their own wellbeing.

Why is Counting on U important to your practice?

In this uncertain post-pandemic economic outlook where businesses big and small are struggling, you may have experienced highly distressed clients, some at breaking point. Many of these clients are also looking to their business advisers to extend from the traditionally transactional roles to performing a more strategic advisory role.

Did you know what to do, what to say? How do you balance being supportive when navigating challenging conversations involving financial and mental wellbeing, and encouraging help-seeking through clinical professional pathways?

Here’s how CoU can help:

What you will learn 

Client Relationship Building Training (RBT) module

The client Relationship Building Training (RBT) module provides participants with a useful framework to identify and refine interpersonal skills needed to have empathetic, often difficult, conversations about mental health and financial wellbeing. Some of the difficult conversations explored include deep-diving into underlying issues, handling verbal aggression, and handling upset or distressed clients. The overall goal of RBT is to help you get even better at developing longer-term, trusting and mutually beneficial relationships with your clients.

Learning outcomes

  • Improve knowledge of how to build trust with clients,
  • Develop the skills required to have conversations with clients experiencing financial and psychological distress, and/or uncover underlying issues,
  • Improve self-awareness to better support clients,
  • Increase self-care skills.

Related: Build & leverage trust in client relationships with the right skills and training

Mental Health First Aid® (MHFA®) module

The Mental Health First Aid® (MHFA®) module teaches participants how to identify and provide support to those with the most common mental health conditions until they are able to seek professional help.

Learning outcomes

  • Improve knowledge of mental health conditions, their treatments and appropriate first aid strategies,
  • Improve confidence in providing first aid to a person experiencing a mental health condition,
  • Decrease stigmatising attitudes,
  • Increase the amount and type of support provided to others.

Related: Mental Health First Aid in the workplace – is it effective?

Booster Session

The booster session further consolidates these skills by giving participants the chance to debrief with a trained expert, practice more scenarios and activities, and learn from each other through sharing of knowledge and experiences.

The full program requires a total time commitment of 13 hours (AU) – 14 hours (NZ)*, made up of:

  • Pre-work: RBT reading (<30mins) and MHFA® e-learning module (approx. 5-7hrs self-paced)
  • Week 1: One client relationship building (RBT) virtual classroom module (2 hours)
  • Week 2: : Two Mental Health First Aid® (MHFA®) virtual classroom modules (2.5 hours each (AU) and 3 hours each (NZ)), and
  • Six weeks post MHFA® virtual modules: One booster virtual classroom module (1 hour)

Both RBT and MHFA® modules (e-learning and virtual classroom) include assessment quizzes.

*the 2hr RBT module can be completed as a stand-alone module

Got questions? Check out these FAQs.

* Mental Health First Aid and MHFA® are registered trademarks of Mental Health First Aid International.

“I undertook last year’s CoU MHFA® course and found it very worthwhile. I thank the team for the great resources and sessions that we had together and recommend others to take up this course.”

Carmel Veitch

Chief Financial Officer, New Zealand Fish and Game Council

What sets CoU apart

Evidence-based Learning

CoU began as a training and research program in 2021. Due to the limitations involving external funding arrangements, we had to initially limit the program to provide training to the accounting/bookkeeping industry, and to those who work specifically with SME clients. We recruited over 4,300 participants through the accounting bodies (CPA, CA ANZ, IPA), bookkeeping bodies (ICB), financial planning bodies (AFA, FPA). Over the course of two years, our team tracked the efficacy of the program’s content whilst also evaluating program delivery. Read more here

Now that we have concluded data collection for the research phase with promising results, we are extending the program to all business professionals with a client or customer-facing role. This includes the likes of the banking industry, tertiary education, legal industry, and professional services amongst others. 

Growing a Workplace Mental Health Community of Practice

As a CoU participant, you will join a network of 3,000+ other business finance professionals from across ANZ in sharing your knowledge and learnings.

CoU participants are also continually supported with ongoing learning avenues such as booster sessions, free webinars and newsletters.

Our large and diverse network of partners also means that we’re able to give participants access to free events and resources from our workplace mental health partners like Beyond Blue, Mental Health First Aid® (MHFA®), and WorkSafe Victoria, as well as finance sector partners like CA ANZ, IPA, FPA and ICB. You’ll also learn of business & management research updates from our partner researchers across Deakin University, University of Melbourne and Sheffield University in the UK.

Professional Development

Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive MHFA® digital accreditation (valid for 3 years and recognised globally) and an email acknowledging course completion which participants can use when submitting for CPD points*. Participants also receive 0.5 Deakin unspecified course credit towards Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) into a Faculty of Business & Law post-graduate degree, including the Deakin MBA.

*Members of CA ANZ, ICB, IPA, FPA & CPA; members and Deakin alumni receive discounts on program fee.



Watch Rachel’s experience of the Counting on U research program

Ready to better support your clients, your team and yourself? Find out more and express your interest for training with Mentally Well Workplaces in Australia, and Humanex in New Zealand – our training delivery partners and MHFA® Licensed Instructors.