Viva Energy Contributes $3m To Help Address Mental Illness & Substance Abuse

Viva Energy_headspace launch 2

Viva Energy Australia (“Viva Energy”) today announced that it will provide up to $3M across three years to support a range of initiatives focused on mental health and substance abuse.

The Viva Energy program – titled Jigsaw – features a national partnership with headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation as well as a key partnership with Northern Futures (Geelong, VIC) to address joblessness in the 3214 postcode.

Viva Energy CEO, Mr Scott Wyatt, said he was proud to be launching a program that helps drive positive social change and encourages support from employees.

Jigsaw reminds us that together we created a community. Only by knowing where we fit and helping others find their place can we hope to complete the picture,” said Scott.

“Part of Viva Energy’s program is geared towards building and supporting role models in communities who are capable of making a difference to address mental health and substance abuse,” he said.

“Through Viva Energy’s support, our national partnership with headspace will create new opportunities for 12-25 year olds to reduce the stigma of mental illness among young people and encourage those at risk to seek help.”

Viva Energy’s funds will directly support Mental Health Role Models to enable up to 70 members of headspace Youth Reference Groups from Geelong and Sunshine (VIC), Parramatta (NSW) and Nundah (QLD) to be up-skilled through formal training in a range of disciplines to help them share their stories locally and help others. Role Model Grants will be given to each Youth Reference Group to enact their own community engagement activities.

headspace CEO, Mr Chris Tanti, said that 75 per cent of mental health disorders emerge before the age of 25.

“By treating these issues early and providing a holistic model of support, the risk of them developing into more serious problems, including suicide, is greatly decreased,” said Chris.

“Building the capacity of these local youth reference groups is a really important and valuable role that Viva Energy is generously supporting,” he said.

“We congratulate Viva Energy on launching its national community support strategy and we look forward to working with them during the next three years to implement the Mental Health Role Model program in key regions right across Australia.”

Viva Energy’s wider community support program includes:

  • A partnership with Northern Futures – to assist community members most at risk of becoming, or remaining, jobless in Geelong’s northern suburbs. The Viva Energy Role Model Scholarship Program will subsidise participants undertaking a Certificate I, II or III training course, including associated expenses such as transport and meals;
  • Annual grants to benefit the communities of Clyde and Gore Bay (NSW), Pinkenba (QLD), Geelong and Newport (VIC);
  • Support for projects to reduce substance abuse, especially within Indigenous communities. Viva Energy is the manufacturer and supplier of Low Aromatic Fuel to support the Federal Government’s Petrol Sniffing Prevention Program in the northern half of Australia; and,
  • Support for employee fundraising – either through workplace giving or team fundraising – by matching dollar-for-dollar money raised.

“Viva Energy’s community support strategy has been created with input from employees and some will actively drive the program as our Community Ambassadors,” said Scott.

“A final, exciting component is that Viva Energy will be the first corporation in Australia to join the global campaign, Good Deeds Day. This is a movement active in 70 countries that puts into practice the simple idea that every single person can do something good.”

Viva Energy is owner of the Geelong refinery and is the exclusive licensee to the Shell brand in Australia, with a network of nearly 900 Shell branded retail service stations. Viva Energy also operates a bulk fuels, bitumen, marine, chemicals and lubricants business supported by more than 20 terminals across the country. For more information about Viva Energy’s community support program, visit www.vivaenergy.com.au

headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation providing early intervention mental health services to 12-25 year olds. The service is designed to make it easy as possible for a young person and their family to get the help they need for problems affecting their wellbeing. This covers four core areas: mental health, physical health, work and study support and alcohol and other drug services. The services can be accessed through headspace centres, online counselling service eheadspace and postvention suicide support program headspace School Support. For more information, visit headspace.org.au.

CAPTION:(L-R) Chris Tanti, CEO headspace and Scott Wyatt, CEO Viva Energy Australia at the launch of Jigsaw, Viva Energy’s $3M national community support program.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Jessica Marriner, Viva Energy Australia Media Manager, M +61 428 750 875 E: Jessica.marriner@vivaenergy.com.au

Michael Bennett, headspace Senior Corporate Communications Advisor, T +61 3 9027 0307 E: mbennett@headspace.org.au 

“Viva Energy Australia is a Shell Licensee and uses Shell trademarks under license. The views expressed in this release or statement, are made by Viva Energy Australia and are not made on behalf of, nor do they necessarily reflect the views of, any company of the Shell Group of Companies.”