For the last six months, Dave Burt, founder of SALT (Sport and Life Training) has spent hundreds of
hours talking to people in virtual gatherings, finding out how they are coping and offering them the
tools to help them through the significant mental challenges that this pandemic has thrown up.

He has seen some common emotions throughout this process. ‘When the first lockdown happened
we were devastated but hopeful. When the second lockdown happened in Victoria, we felt defeated
and deflated. But now, we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel and we are needing to hear
good news.”

But whether the good news comes from the State Government or not, Dave says that we are
masters of our own destiny and can choose the good news if we know how. This is a particularly
important skill for business leaders who now are tasked with not only ensuring the economic
survival of their business but moulding shell-shocked employees into resilient teams who will need
to operate effectively in a forever-changed environment.

“Research shows that after every trauma, people emerge either better or worse for the experience
and the balance is around 50/50,” Dave explains. “Post traumatic growth occurs when a traumatic
experience becomes a catalyst for positive change. The ability to make positive change is available
to everyone, it is a choice we make.”

He goes on to clarify that there are some important settings that help people make the choice for
positive change. These are:

• Authentic relationships
• Spiritual change
• Looking for new possibilities
• Personal strength
• Appreciation of life

“You will be amazed at how adaptive and resilient your team is. They just need a guiding hand to
fight their way through the very natural depressed state they are currently in, to see the
opportunities for growth and success that are available if they look forward rather than back. Your
workplace can re-emerge from this better, stronger and more focussed than it has ever been on the
things that really matter.”

Dave believes that for workplaces, there is really no choice but to be proactive in providing mental
health support to their workforces to help build hope, optimism and confidence.

“A Beyond Blue report has found that for every dollar spent to promote good mental health in the
workplace, the business reaped a return of $2.30. But sometimes organisations are fearful of what
they might uncover if they start opening up conversations around mental health,” says Dave. “They
don’t need to be fearful. Just as leaders need to be encouraging their teams to develop positive
physical health habits, they also need to be encouraging positive mental health habits. It’s simple
education and basic support.”

Dave and his colleagues at SALT have developed a course to help businesses emerge from this
pandemic in the best possible shape. Their session “Workplace re-emerge” is aimed at helping
leaders and teams sort through the mindsets that might impede progress. “At the end of our session
your teams will feel more connected, empowered and positive about that the future holds. It’s a
great starting point for any business”, Dave promises.

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