Hearten Up mental health training & community program

Mental Health First Aid training, Melbourne

Mental Health 101

Our introduction level program on mental health awareness is delivered in person or online – whatever works best for your people.

The ideal place to start your mental health literacy and awareness-raising within your organisation.

Mental Health training & consulting


Hearten Up provides mental health and wellbeing training and consulting services for workplaces, organisations, communities, and individuals.

Established by a former corporate senior executive who burned out and broke down himself, our services and support are built on what actually works and helps to support you and your people.

This is more than just a job for us – it’s human development and evolution.

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based course that provides people with the knowledge and skills to help someone who may be experiencing a mental health problem, or mental health crisis, until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves, using a practical, evidence-based action plan.

Hearten Up is a licensed provider of Mental Health First Aid training, offering both private workplace training on site, and general training which anyone can join.

Training for workplaces


Creating a mentally healthy workplace has many benefits for both employers and employees.

Any half-decent workplace should support individual mental health, as it can reduce absenteeism, increased employee engagement, and overall group productivity.

Promoting good mental health in the workplace has never been more important than it is right now.

Re-Stump: the foundations of good mental health

Sleep, exercise and nutrition have long been recognised as crucial to good physical health, with a strong correlation with our mental wellbeing, too. And in recent years we’ve been reminded just how vital a sense of genuine connection is as well.

Hearten Up’s Re-Stump program provides the core knowledge of the four pillars needed for our physical and mental health to form a solid foundation on which to build our best life.


We deliver both in-person and online presentations and discussions about mental health and wellbeing for workplaces, conferences, professional associations and community groups.

As well as a former corporate senior executive/professional storyteller and comedian with national tours of two solo shows to his name, our founder Joel has lived experience of mental ill-health, the highs of success and the lows of despair, a raw humanity and warmth that puts people at ease.

Don’t harden up… HEARTEN UP.

Telling someone to ‘harden up’ and just ‘get on with it’ is effectively telling them to ignore and suppress how they feel. Not only is this unhealthy, but the exact opposite of good mental health.

When we talk with someone about our challenges and issues, we dramatically increase our wellbeing. Especially in the case of depression and anxiety.

Humans are creatures that thrive with connection and camaraderie. We always have been. But somewhere along the way, we devalued sharing our stories and learning through conversation. And it has been to our collective detriment as people and communities.

Suicide is at emergency levels, with 10x more deaths than the national road toll… Opening up and heartening up is the start of your recovery journey and critical to not becoming a heart-breaking statistic. 


Founder & Executive Director

Joel Clapham was a young man on the rise, who in late 2013, seemingly had it all…

Then aged 31, married with three healthy children and a home in suburban Melbourne, Joel was appointed the youngest senior executive in the financial services industry, and went on to win multiple awards for marketing and community-building campaigns.

But below the surface, Joel was disintegrating.

In mid-2016, a perfect storm of crises saw him nearly lose it all. Including himself.

Desperate to avoid the same fate as his father, who died by suicide when Joel was 16, he actively chose to be open, seek and accept help and treatment, and ensure he firstly survived, and then thrived once more.

In 2019 Joel established Hearten Up, a mental health training organisation and is a well-respected and in-demand mental health training specialist and consultant, a Principal Master Instructor in Mental Health First Aid, who is also undertaking postgraduate study and training to be a psychologist.

As a former cog in the corporate machine, Joel knows from his own experience how critical it is that businesses and organisations are both capable and comfortable in supporting their people. Because that’s what they are… people.

Through Hearten Up, Joel brings together his personal story, experiences, humour, compassion, and training, to help bring more heart to an often-hard world.

Joel is also an award-winning writer and performer with national tours of two solo shows, Humpty Dumpty Daddy, and Loves Me, Loves Me Not, both of which looked at mental health, identity and masculinity and have been performed to critical success at comedy and fringe festivals around Australia.

VFMC have been very proud to partner with Hearten Up to train and certify more than 20 mental health first aiders across our organisation.

Personally, I valued the opportunity to participate and get a new understanding for contemporary triage of mental health injuries.

The training manages a serious topic thoughtfully and the learning environment is supportive and inclusive.

I feel very pleased that so many of our team are accredited to enable them to support colleagues and friends should there be times of crisis in or outside of work.

It is a powerful capability uplift that will enable all of us to better support ourselves and others post pandemic.

I thoroughly recommend investing your time to build your own skills to manage life and sponsor others in your organisation to complete this incredibly valuable accreditation.

Johanna Neilson

Head of People, Victorian Funds Management Corporation

Joel Clapham is a wonderful advocate for mental health. He is open about his own struggles and isn’t afraid to discuss difficult topics.

Generous with his knowledge and time, his insights and practical advice have been invaluable for our audiences.

He’s articulate and a terrific performer, both on camera and as a speaker. He’s also approachable and professional. It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with him!

Lisa Annese

Chief Executive Officer, Diversity Council Australia