Mental Health Training Bolsters Support For Workers

15 December 2020

More than 160 Victorian business chambers and local councils have led from the front during a tough year, signing up for specialist mental health training so they can better help small businesses.

Minister for Small Business Jaala Pulford today encouraged other business chambers and councils to access the free training program facilitated by St John Ambulance, which provides accredited training to swiftly boost mental health capabilities within local business communities.

The St John training program is part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $26 million Wellbeing and Mental Health Support for Victorian Business program launched in August. Some 129 participants have completed the training and 39 more have been accepted to attend sessions.

This program is designed to build capability within local business networks to help them cope with wellbeing or mental health challenges, and provides a nationally recognised qualification in mental health first response.

Further mental health support is available for small business owners seven days a the week through the Partners in Wellbeing helpline (1300 375 330). This free, confidential service also includes immediate access to financial counsellors.

Expressions of interest for the St John Ambulance training program close this Friday – 18 December. Go to to find out more.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Small Business Jaala Pulford

“It’s fantastic that so many business chambers and councils have taken up the St Johns training – it’s recognition that business leaders take mental health seriously.”

“There’s still time for more organisations to get involved so that staff can be best placed to deal with issues that arise in their local communities.”

Quote attributable to St John Ambulance Victoria chief executive Gordon Botwright

“Mental health awareness has never been more important – that’s why we’re proud to support this mental health and wellbeing initiative with training that will back businesses, their staff and wider communities.”

Quotes attributable to Committee for Gippsland chief executive Jane Oakley

“I highly recommend the St John Ambulance program.”

“Before doing the training, I didn’t feel equipped to have a real conversation about someone’s mental wellbeing, but it has empowered me and confirmed it’s okay to discuss mental illness with people who you suspect might be doing it tough.”

Reviewed 15 December 2020

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