A community program that supports the mental health and wellbeing of Canberra’s workers in the building and construction industry has received a $100,000 funding boost.
Canberra workplace mental health and wellbeing program provider OzHelp received the funding as part of the ACT Government’s COVID-19 mental health and wellbeing support package.
The funding will go towards OzHelp’s on-the-ground services and delivery of wellbeing programs that promote mental health resilience in the workplace, such as their Tradies’ Tune-Up and Workplace Tune-Up programs.
OzHelp’s Chief Executive Officer Darren Black said he is pleased the ACT Government is recognising and responding to the increasing levels of mental health support required as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We acknowledge the very real challenges of COVID-19 including financial hardship that people are facing following significant job losses and drastic changes to everyday life, which has led to higher levels of anxiety within the community,” Mr Black said.
“As a result of the pandemic, and the uncertainty this brings, we are receiving increasing requests for support from those who have never accessed mental health support services before and the issues that people are dealing with are more complex.
“This additional funding supports our ability to respond to the increased complexity of support required as well as enabling us to develop new and innovative ways to reach those who are doing it tough.”
Minister for Mental Health Shane Rattenbury emphasised the importance of the services provided by OzHelp and what they mean to local Canberrans.
“This year, COVID-19 has turned our worlds upside down. It has impacted us in ways we could never have imagined, and it has had an immense ripple effect on our community — going far beyond the obvious physical health implications,” said Mr Rattenbury.
“Many in our community have been hit hard with job losses and financial hardship. Their wellbeing has taken a battering throughout this ongoing and sustained pandemic.
“Our builders, our construction workers — who have a very important role in building and developing our city of the future — they’re one of the hardest-hit sectors and we need to support them through this difficult period.
“Importantly, we know these people are often the hardest to reach. They’re male-dominated groups who traditionally don’t seek help for mental health needs. This additional funding will go a long way to helping people who may have never accessed support before.”
Mr Rattenbury said OzHelp works hard to ensure that those people who need mental health and wellbeing support can access someone to talk to and resources that could change or save lives.
“OzHelp takes an evidence-based and proactive approach to its health and wellbeing programs to help create mentally healthy workplaces. COVID-19 has only increased its determination to help the workers affected most,” Mr Rattenbury said.
You can find out more about OzHelp’s programs on their website.