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Expanded free mental health support for small businesses and their employees

Small business owners looking to support the mental health and wellbeing of their staff are being given access to a vital resource, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.

“We know small businesses continue to face significant challenges due to the pandemic and that may cause concern and uncertainty for their employees,” said Minister for Small Business Jaala Pulford.

“The Mindarma app provides skills and tools that are known to protect mental health and in a simple and convenient way to support staff in these challenging times.”

“Small businesses want to look after their staff and we’re backing them by investing in innovative ways to provide mental health and wellbeing supporting.”

Minister for Small Business Jaala Pulford today announced free access to Mindarma – an evidence-based online mental health support tool – is being made available to Victorian small businesses and their employees to help with daily challenges and the uncertainty due to the pandemic.

Supported by the Black Dog Institute and the University of NSW, Mindarma is an education program developed by leading researchers. Through 10 short interactive sessions accessible on computer, tablet, or smartphone, users learn mindfulness and cognitive techniques for resilience and to manage workplace stressors.

Sally Wallace, from Melbourne’s Rome2Rio travel business, recognised her staff needed additional wellbeing support during the pandemic. Mindarma tailored a program specifically for their 40 staff members, with an emphasis on resilience, practical skills and mindfulness strategies.

“Our priority during the pandemic was to retain all of our staff, which we achieved. Having resources available, like Mindarma, is an important component of our overall employee value proposition alongside other company initiatives to ensure a diverse approach to mental wellbeing and support,” said Rome2Rio Senior People Operations Manager Sally Wallace.

This program forms part of the Labor Government’s $26 million commitment to providing timely and needs based support through the Wellbeing and Mental Health Support for Businesses Initiative, announced in August 2020.

Other initiatives include the Partners in Wellbeing helpline, a free and confidential service that provides support for small business owners and employees with wellbeing coaching, financial counselling and business advisory services, available seven days a week and the small business edition of the WorkSafe WorkWell Toolkit, supporting small business owners and sole traders to create mentally healthy workplaces.

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