Time to Talk about Mental Well-being in the workplace; Q&A with Craft Beer Coopery

Whilst most of us are working remotely, well-being at work and especially mental health are becoming increasingly important for a healthy and empowered workforce. With RUOK day just around the corner, we are pleased to see many creative initiatives that support mental health. The Craft Beer Coopery is a social enterprise doing just that, with a strong focus on men’s mental health. We spoke to founder Trevor Lowder to find out more about this crucial topic…


Why is taking care of your mental well-being especially important during times like these?

While some of us are likely closer to the brink than others, I would be as bold as to say that we almost wouldn’t be human if the effects of COVID-19 haven’t had some impact on our mental well-being. It comes as many are still feeling the impact of recent bushfires, floods and drought. All rolled up, it is more important than ever that we promote a sense of community, reach out and talk to our friends and family to have an open, honest and positive conversation about mental health.

Not only whilst we are in isolation, but long after physical isolation improves, the feeling of isolation and the psychological impacts from COVID-19 and the economic downturn can remain.  As plenty of us get back to normal, there will undoubtedly be tens of thousands of people who no longer have a job to go back to. After three redundancies, I know all too well the impact that being unemployed has, particularly on men’s mental health.


What advice do you have for people finding things tough in the current climate?
Talk! We can all make a difference by starting simple conversations with our friends and family about mental health, be it our own or theirs. The adage is still true “a problem shared is a problem halved”. It is also important to remember that on the outside a mate may appear to still have it all together, however the pressures of life right now can affect anyone.
If you have someone that is reaching out to you, my advice would be “Don’t panic!” Simply let them know that you are there to support them and be by their side.


How can we ensure we do this when working remotely?
During this time of isolation, the best way to check in on a mate is to pick up the phone, get on a Zoom or dial up Facetime. Given there are few better ways to get the warm conversation going than over a cold craft, the Craft Beer Coopery have put together a special set of ISO’MATE’ Packages. Conversation Crates especially designed for you and your mates to enjoy a “virtual beer” together and get that chat going.


Where did this idea come from?
If your inbox is anything like mine, it has been filled over the past few weeks with headlines like ‘Get your lockdown inspired liquor’ and ‘Stock up before you get locked up’. It is not surprising then that the media has been reporting a surge in people injuring themselves while excessively drinking at home during these times of stress. While COVID-19 has presented us with many challenges, particularly to our well-being, our financial stability and our general feeling of safety, I was concerned that we haven’t been looking to unhealthy coping mechanisms.

While wanting to support the craft beer industry, but not promote volume sales (which can often lead to volume drinking), I started thinking about what I could put together for a time when mates are not together….and the IsoMATE idea was born. Even while we are apart, there is still no craftier way to start a conversation than over a cold craft.


We know we will be drinking a virtual craft beer with the Pollen team again soon! Cheers!


A little more about Craft Beer Coopery:

The coop was born with the belief that ‘you can’t do life alone’ and that the world’s problems will be sorted in no time when you put two mates together with a beer in hand. The Craft Beer Coopery delivers beer packages to your door so you can drink a “virtual beer” together even in times of social distancing. This way they encourage men to talk to each other and say “hey mate, I’ve got your back”.


More information on the Craft Beer Cooperation and the IsoMATE packs can be found on their website www.craftbeercoop.com.au.