A registered charity, The Xfactor Collective Foundation has a focus on the mental health and wellbeing of social sector professionals and volunteers.

Why does this matter?

The RESET 2020 Research Study was the first time that people who worked and volunteered in the social sector were asked about how their mental health was faring.

This is some of what they said;

  • 39% felt their workload was unachieveable often / always
  • 39% felt overwhelmed
  • 40% said they weren’t taking care of themselves

Working in the Social Sector is characterised by:

  • Exposure to confronting issues including rolling natural disasters and the pandemic
  • Funding uncertainty
  • Leaders who are trying to stay afloat, serve their beneficiaries, manage what seems like constant change and huge workloads
  • Lack of resources to support staff and volunteer wellbeing, mental health and trauma informed workplaces
  • High rates of employee turnover, and costs involved in finding and retaining talent

We know that if we have a strong social sector we are building capability and resilience to recover from what has occurred and address future challenges.

We’ve got to take care of our people - the social sector is the backbone of a healthy society.

Mental health illness in the Social Sector shows up as:

  • Compassion Fatigue (stress related mental injury)
  • Vicarious Trauma
  • Frontline Trauma
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

"I have been diagnosed with early exhaustion and burnout and simply need a break/relief for time out. But financially, I have to keep showing up to steer the ship through the storm.”
RESET 2020 Participant

"We are always trying to deliver more with fewer staff, increasing workloads and stress, because people in this sector really care about the people we serve.”
RESET 2020 Participant
RESET 2020 Burnout Index How often did you feel

Preventing mental health injury in the sector is more than a ‘self care’ issue

Many sectors globally have taken steps to provide resources to their people for their mental health and wellbeing. This is lacking in the social sector in Australia, and globally. 

We would like to change that.

What's our strategy?

The Foundation will achieve its mission to improve mental health for organisations and individuals in the social sector by 

  • Building the online Social Sector Wellbeing and Resilience Hub that provides priority tools, resources and support
  • Advocating and taking action to address structural causes and mainstream / normalise improved wellbeing
  • Promoting good mental health practice and harm reduction via awareness campaigns with content and outreach partners
  • Measuring outcomes through a survey instrument and wellbeing index and ensuring our response is guided by global best practice
  • Creating place based activations like the Northern NSW Flood Support Program with training and support to frontline workers and their organisations on wellbeing and mental health

What have we done so far?

We have identified the gap and need via the RESET 2020 program, supported by Equity Trustees.

We have promoted the findings widely in the sector via webinars and forums and spoken with 20+ sector and peak bodies to seek their input about a strategy to address the need.

We have received funding from The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation to develop The Social Sector Wellbeing and Resilience Hub which is currently being built.

The Department of Communities and Justice NSW have provided funding to build the Social Sector Video Library, the Northern NSW Flood Support Program and core funding which has been instrumental.

We are seeking further funding partners to enable us to continue building the Wellbeing and Resilience Hub as well as to conduct further place based activations.


To find out more, please reach out to the Manager Social Sector Wellbeing and Resilience Hub, Annette Herschtal at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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