Introducing a new $26 million program addressing the mental health support needs of SMEs.
Many small business owners are doing it very tough at the moment. Recognising the impact this is having on mental health, the Victorian Government has launched a new $26 million program addressing the unique mental health support needs of SMEs.
The Wellbeing and Mental Health support program aims to provide Victorians dealing with the challenges of running a small or medium enterprise with the mental health support they need to navigate the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The first stages of the program are being rolled out this month. So far, the program includes the following elements:
Mental health training delivered by St John Ambulance
St John Ambulance accredited Mental Health and Crisis Support training is available to key members who hold positions at Chambers of Commerce, Business Associations or Business Networks across Victoria. The training is designed to equip these organisations with the capabilities needed to support local business communities with mental health and wellbeing challenges.
Partners in Wellbeing hotline – 1300 375 330
The free Partners in Wellbeing telephone hotline will be extended to 10pm every night to provide business owners experiencing stress free access to one-on-one wellbeing support, business advisers and financial counsellors.
The Wellbeing and Mental Health support program will also provide access to mental health specialists and on-the-job training for staff in industry and business associations to ensure they can identify and respond to people in distress, and provide immediate referrals to expert business advisors.
Roll out of these support services is expected to continue until 2022, with the list of services likely to expand as needs and demand are identified.
Business Victoria also provides a range of mental health resources on its Mental health in business web page. More information about grants and business support programs available in response to coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found on the Business Victoria website .