MLC Community Foundation - Supporting our Sector

Article by Luke Branagan, Manager, MLC Community Foundation, National Australia Bank

In 2008, wealth management business MLC (a NAB company) took a leadership position in improving mental health outcomes for all Australians through the establishment of the MLC Community Foundation. 

The Foundation understands the impact mental health issues have on our customers, people and business. 

As the founding partner of Lifeline’s Crisis Support Chat Service, the MLC Community Foundation wanted to understand the social and economic benefits of the service. 

Lifeline’s Crisis Support Chat Service exists to help people who are experiencing a personal crisis and looks to prevent the incidence of suicide. Users can access the online chat based service through Lifeline’s website and receive one-to-one confidential advice with a trained crisis supporter. 

A Social Return on Investment (SROI) study found that the service delivered a social and financial value of $8.40 for every $1 invested into the program. 

The study demonstrated that social value was created for two categories of service users; crisis intervention and aversion and the public medical system and emergency services. 

Three main outcomes were identified for the service users including: 

  • reduced suicidality/self-harm potential 
  • improved resourcefulness 
  • enhanced belonging.   

MLC Community Foundation has been a proud supporter of Lifeline since its inception and has provided staff, volunteer and financial support, helping to enhance its 24 hour telephone crisis service along with the Crisis Support Service. 

Financial support is in the form of a long term grant that has reached $2.6 million since our relationship commenced. 

We’re just as committed to keeping our people happy and healthy. 

Late in March at NAB’s stunning home at Docklands in Melbourne, we ushered more than 200 employees out of a routine Thursday lunch and into the MLC Community Foundation’s Festival of Smiles. 

Now in its second year, the festival looks at the brighter side of mental health, showcasing a series of fun-filled debates covering topics like ‘can money buy you happiness?’ and ‘are workplaces happy places?’ 

NAB leaders were pitched against each other to argue their case and prove that laughter and optimism can help you stay well. 

Hosted by comedian, TV and radio presenter Tommy Little, the event also featured a presentation by Suicide Prevention Australia’s CEO Sue Murray, who expressed the importance of promoting mental health in the workplace and the support available at NAB


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Article contributed to the newsletter Perspectives - August 2014. Please note that this article is from an individual contributor and does not necessarily reflect the views of Mental Health Australia

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