Better Place Project revisits Albury business mental health and wellbeing

The ongoing impact of COVID-19 border closures will be surveyed this month in the second Better Place Project mental health survey of the Albury and Lavington business community.

The Better Place Project is a workforce wellbeing joint initiative between Border-based not for profit disability employment service provider The Personnel Group and Albury Business Connect.

Starting in October, Mental Health First Aid trained staff from The Personnel Group will survey businesses across Albury and Lavington.

The survey, as part of Mental Health Month, is a significant community wellbeing program for The Personnel Group.

“The Border region is a vibrant place to live and work, and we saw from the first survey the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on people’s mental health,” Tracey Fraser, The Personnel Group CEO, said.

“State-based health restrictions really have divided our Albury-Wodonga community in half, and Border community businesses have felt the brunt of that.

“This second survey allows us to actually record and measure what changes have occurred during the past 12 months, and pinpoint what support is needed because a mentally healthy workforce leads to better creativity, happier workplaces and more prosperous communities.”

The initial Better Place Project wellbeing survey, in October 2020, showed 81 per cent of respondents said COVID-19 had impacted their business or job and 85 per cent said the Border closure had impacted their business or job.

Albury Business Connect encouraged chamber members to get onboard.

“The initial Better Place Project survey, which had more than 300 responses, clearly showed COVID-19 and border closures had a significant mental health and wellbeing impact on businesses and workers,” Lisa Hastie, Albury Business Connect general manager, said.

“Our businesses have faced another year of uncertainty since then and those ongoing limitations and experiences will continue to manifest in the months ahead.

“We know the economic impact of border closures, the more survey responses we get the clearer the picture will be of our business community’s mental health and wellbeing.”

The mental health wellbeing survey is among a suite of Better Place Project measures to educate and promote better mental health in the workplace.

Initiatives include:

  • A business concierge to support businesses access mental health and wellbeing resources
  • Mental Health First Aid Training
  • A Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace category in the 2022 Albury-Wodonga Business Awards
  • Launch of website.

The NSW Government is supporting the Better Place Project through a $25,000 grant in response to the initial workforce wellbeing report.