With Victorians in a 6 week lockdown, mental health support is an important focus. This has been recognised by the Prime Minister and the Victorian State government. Eligible Victorian businesses can now apply for grants.
Dan Andrews initial announcement released on Sunday 9 August ‘Fast tracked mental health support for Victorians in need’ can be found here. He speaks about Victorians getting the support they need now and after the pandemic is over, an increase in system capacity in hospitals and/or out in the community, that are vital to the wellbeing of all Victorians.
Click here for information released on 12 August, covering details of a $26 million program addressing the mental health needs of sole traders and small and medium business owners and their workers.
Now businesses affected by current restrictions can apply for a grant from the Business Support Fund – Expansion program until 14 September 2020. To apply, go to business.vic.gov.au Grants of $10,000 are available for eligible businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire, and $5,000 in regional Victoria.
Mental health support program
The $26 million program will ensure Victoria’s small and medium-sized businesses receive the support they need, to cope with the challenges of coronavirus (COVID-19). Key elements of the program include:
- Accredited mental health training delivered by St John Ambulance to business chambers of commerce and business networks across Victoria, to boost mental health capabilities within local business communities.
- 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.
- The Partners in Wellbeing telephone hotline – 1300 375 330. This free support service 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.
These support services are being rolled out in August, with demand and future conditions set to guide further services.