A NEW state government initiative will provide member-based business organisations with tailored mental health and wellbeing support.
Up to 200 member-based business communities will receive a $15,000 grant for training and tailored support to manage stress and anxiety.
Under the program, a 'business community' is defined as a not-for-profit member-based organisation which represents, serves and advocates for its business members.
Small business minister Jaala Pulford announced the Mental Wellbeing of Business Communities Grants on Wednesday, saying that the government anticipated broad flow on effects for small businesses supported by the eligible chambers of commerce, business councils, industry associations and trader groups.
"Our small businesses have had massive challenges thrown at them for two years and while their resilience and ingenuity is inspirational, these pressures can take a toll," Ms Pulford said.
"We're working closely with chambers and traders group so make sure they are equipped to support their members' health and well-being."
Under the program, grant recipients will nominate representatives to receive 10 hours of free mental health and wellbeing training plus an additional 12 hours of expert masterclasses which will help them design a care plan for their members.
The training will involve businesses collaborating on ideas of best practice for improving mental health including shifting ways of thinking and ideas on motivation.
Mental Health minister James Merlino said the program would have flow on effects for the broader community.
"This program will give small businesses the opportunity to learn effective strategies to improve mental wellbeing in the workplace," the minister said.
"Supporting people when they need it most will drive change and reduce the stigma of mental health challenges facing the broader business community."
The program forms part of the Victorian government's $26 million Wellbeing and Mental Health Support for Businesses Initiative, announced in August 2020.
For full details of the program and more information on other wellbeing resources for small businesses, visit business.vic.gov.au.
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