SuperFriend ramps up online workplace mental health training amid COVID-19 pandemic


Margo Lydon

SuperFriend, the national workplace mental health and wellbeing organisation, has developed a suite of virtual training solutions to support workforces and people leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

SuperFriend has experienced a spike in queries from partner super funds, insurers and workplaces about supporting their employees during this challenging period.

Increased pressure on the superannuation industry as a result of the early release of super has led to increased demand for superannuation workers to support their members – in particular, overloaded contact centre staff managing distressed callers who have been impacted by this current crisis.

Across the board, many workplaces are experiencing escalating anxiety in employees working from home or dealing with changed working conditions.

In response, SuperFriend has updated its most popular and impactful training and created new content to help equip workers to deal with the issues being faced in the current climate.

SuperFriend CEO Margo Lydon said: “The way we work has shifted significantly this year without giving us much time to adjust to the ‘new norm’. The pandemic has impacted the mental health and wellbeing of the vast majority of Australian workers, either from losing their jobs or being asked to work from home or in different ways.

“With so much rapid change for most people and businesses, we felt it was paramount to address the new demands on the industry. After listening closely to our partners, we have updated and adapted our mental health and wellbeing training solutions and resources to address the challenges that have emerged from COVID-19.”

Virtual training options

SuperFriend’s virtual training is conducted via Zoom or MS Teams, and Ms Lydon emphasised the interactive and inclusive nature of the sessions. “Featuring polls and shared whiteboards, there will be virtual breakout rooms for group discussion, live roleplays and targeted facilitator feedback – all accessible from anywhere.”

The range of courses include:

  • Psychological First Aid for COVID – 19
  • Contact Centre Staff Training
  • Workplace Mental Health Fundamentals
  • Workplace Mental Health for People Leaders
  • Managing Challenging Interactions
  • Person-centred Claims Management Training

“During times of massive change and uncertainty, frontline staff routinely interact with people who are frustrated, upset, angry and aggressive. This can be even more difficult to manage when working remotely, whether by phone or online.

“If not managed empathetically and effectively, customers experiencing distress or anger can escalate quickly. It also impacts the staff member. At SuperFriend, we aim to help frontline staff recognise their own triggers and how to de-escalate or terminate interactions to protect themselves from unacceptable violence or aggression,” she added.

Ms Lydon concluded by saying, “We are all in this together. Everyone’s circumstances are different, and we need to take time to understand this. Now more than ever, it is important that we look after the wellbeing of our staff, as well as the wellbeing of members.

“Workers today are facing a huge number of pressures in both life and work – so it’s important to help them build up their toolkit of resilience and coping strategies. This will not only ensure loyalty and commitment to their employers for the longer term but also act as the building blocks of a thriving workplace and better society.”

View SuperFriend’s virtual training menu here, and contact [email protected] to enquire.

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