Counting on U

A Deakin University led mental health first aid and relationship building training program, offered as complimentary CPD to members in practice.

In Brief

  • In 2020, nearly 1 in 3 SME owners were diagnosed with anxiety, depression, stress or related mental health issues
  • Accountants trained in mental health first aid can provide intermediary business and mental health support
  • Register now to become an accredited mental health first aider to support your clients and community

Chartered Accountants ANZ have partnered with Deakin Business School to offer a new mental health first aid training program to our members in practice – Counting on U. This initiative is funded by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER), the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC), and other Deakin partner organisations. 

Counting on U recognises the impacts of the pandemic on many small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) will continue to be an on-going challenge.

Business advisors who regularly work with SME owners have been identified as a group who can play a key role in supporting the mental health of their clients. This training is not intended to enable members to diagnose or treat mental illness, however it supports them to have sensitive conversations which can support their clients.

Benefits of 'Counting on U'

Counting on U aims to equip you with the ability to:

  • Deal with heightened financial distress in SME owners
  • Enhance your skills in identifying and understanding SME business needs and stressors when delivering business advice
  • Confidently administer first aid to someone experiencing a mental health crisis, whilst also supporting early identification and management of mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, stress and suicide
  • Gain insights into how to look after your own health and wellbeing while also supporting the mental health of others
  • Become an accredited Mental Health First Aider
  • Receive complimentary CPD and 12 - 15 CPD hours

This training course will support long-term knowledge and application of mental health literacy skills and provide you with the chance to establish a peer network who can provide you with mentoring and support on shared issues relating to your own or SME clients' wellbeing.

What the training involves

The training involves:

  • 5 hours of pre-reading that must be completed prior to the mental health first aid training
  • 1 x 2 hour Relationship Building Training (note that not all participants in the Deakin research study will take this class)
  • 2 x 2.5 hour Mental Health First Aid training sessions
  • 2 x 1hour Booster sessions

Counting on U is a comprehensive training program. It is delivered 100% online in live classes over zoom.

We advise that you take the classes in a private environment where you feel comfortable to fully participate with your camera and microphone while navigating sensitive course material.

Training dates:

Wave 1: Registration closed. Training in progress.
Wave 2: Registration closed. Training commences between 28 April – 1 June 2021
Wave 3: Registration opens mid-June

To receive an invitation to register, join the waitlist today.

Mental Health Training helps accountants on the frontline

Meet the two Deakin University academics who created the Counting on U program, the first course of its kind in the world.

Read MoreAbout Mental Health Training helps accountants on the frontline

Get in touch:

For any questions about Counting on U, please contact

Deakin University Research Study:

Training program

Counting on U is a Deakin University research study to understand the configuration of training that best supports the mental health outcomes for SME owners.

Half of training program participants are randomly assigned to receive both Relationship Building training (RBT) and Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training. The remaining half will receive Mental Health First Aid training only. All participants will receive two short booster sessions and complete a small number of short evaluation activities, which will allow the effectiveness of the two programs to be compared.

SME client feedback

Feedback from your SME clients is essential for the Deakin University research component of the Counting on U program.

If you are participating in the research study, you are asked to invite 2 - 5 of your SME clients to participate.

  • SMEs are asked to complete three 10 minute evaluation surveys
  • The first 900 participating SMEs are incentivised with a $25 Coles-Myer or Woolworths voucher for every survey completed

You can use the Nominate SMEs Template to get started. Make sure to include your unique Training ID.

For more information about the research study, download Deakin University's Plain Language Statement.

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