Disruptors Co and SIRA are making mental health recovery at work, work

Recovery Boost is a NSW State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) program that inspires innovative solutions to gather evidence on improving mental health recovery at work.

Disruptors Co is working with SIRA on the third and final round of funding for Recovery Boost in July 2021. This time around there are new ways to get involved to access a $50,000 grant.

How is SIRA and Disruptors Co offering this grant?

“Almost one in every two Australians will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime”, says Gavin Heaton, Co-CEO of Disruptors Co. “We can greatly reduce the impact of mental health issues in a way that has been largely untapped – through the workplace”.

This is where Recovery Boost comes in. This year there are two programs – a direct entry stream and a supported stream. The supported stream is in three stages and is designed to help bring ideas to life:

  • Stage 1 – video pitch an idea
  • Stage 2 – community based voting for video submissions
  • Stage 3 – supported hackathon connecting pitch teams with business mentors and subject matter experts.

“With our focus on innovation and fresh ideas, we have developed a new approach to encourage a wide variety of entrants from people who would not normally apply for grant funding – especially startups working in the field of mental health”, Heaton explains.

“We are interested in applications from people with lived experience of workplace mental health recovery, regional and remote businesses, Aboriginal people and businesses, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, youth networks and communities, and SMBs”.

The first step in joining the program is to submit a video application.

We are looking for short videos of less than 5 minutes. The key focus should be the applicant’s story – why they are interested in workplace mental health and the scope of the idea.

Grant funding is just the start

While the program offers up to $50,000 in grant funding, Disruptors Co and Recovery Boost will also be providing access to business mentors and subject matter experts.

Liz Kean from Headline Productions, a past grant recipient, explains, “We connected with Beyond Blue and the Black Dog Institute who provided a lot of support and guidance – and we learnt on those resources as we were doing our research”.

And this research fed into a great new idea – a podcast called “Managing Minds”.

“People feel really alone when they are suddenly trying to help someone else with a mental health struggle … and a podcast felt like a really clean way to do that”.

Launching in August, the Managing Minds podcast is a great example of how new thinking and ideas can help create mentally healthy workplaces.

“We are looking for more of these kinds of innovative ideas that can help ensure mental health recovery at work, really works”, says Heaton.