We are excited to announce that Mentally Well Workplaces will work with Deakin University to coordinate evidence based mental health and client relationship building training to accountants and other business advisers across Australia, via the Counting on U program.
This new program is driven by a current NHMRC-funded study undertaken by Deakin University in conjunction with Beyond Blue, WorkSafe Victoria, the Institute for Public Accountants (IPA), CPA Australia, Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand (CAANZ) and Mental Health First Aid Australia (MHFA).
The project received further funding from the Department of Innovation, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER), which awarded Deakin a further $2.238million to expand the program and train a further 4000 accountants.
The program will deliver professional development sector-wide for trusted business advisers (including financial planners, bookkeepers, business auditors, insolvency experts and accountants) and will incorporate both Mental Health First Aid training and a relationship-centred, business mentoring approach in order to support the mental health and business related needs of small business owners and their clients.
The program was developed prior to the current pandemic, however is being hailed as extremely important in the context of COVID-19. It is increasingly likely that many SME owners and operators will have experienced some form of heightened distress and anxiety during COVID, which may be evident during conversations with their financial planners, business advisers and accountants.
Amy Guest, Co-Founder at Mentally Well Workplaces, said “This is a fantastic initiative and a great opportunity for small business advisors to upskill in crucial relationship building techniques and Mental Health First Aid. These skills are invaluable, particularly at this current time. We are delighted to be working with Deakin on this project“.
The Mentally Well Workplaces team look forward to coordinating the mental health and client relationship building training in 2021, which will assist with important wellbeing research for small business advisers and owners in need, in-turn helping their own clients, families and the finance industry as a whole.