Beyond Blue release resource to support mental health of small business owners
Advisers, family and friends can support the mental health and wellbeing of Australia’s 2.26 million small business owners through a free Beyond Blue guide available online
The Supporting small business owners to improve their mental health and wellbeing at work guide provides business advisers such as accountants, bookkeepers, tax agents, industry associations and representative bodies, or family and friends, with practical tips about how to provide support without needing to be trained counsellors or clinicians.
The guide includes information such as:
- How to provide immediate support to a small business owner who is distressed;
- Recognising the signs of poor mental health;
- Planning and having a conversation with someone you’re concerned about;
- What to do if the person doesn’t want to talk about their mental health; and,
- How small business owners can improve their situation.
Ninety-seven (97) percent of businesses in Australia are small businesses employing up to 19 people. Small business owners can face a number of challenges in starting and running a business, which can impact their mental health.
Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman said the guide was designed for advisers, families and friends because they were often the first to notice when small business owners experience mental health challenges.
“Almost one third of small business owners report having high levels of psychological distress, mainly due to long working hours, social isolation, customer demands, cash flow issues and conflicting demands between home and work,” Ms Harman said.
“These factors can sometimes increase the risk of developing mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression. Small business owners have told Beyond Blue they want mental health resources to be available through their business networks so they can access the information through established and trusted contacts."
The guide also provides links to resources such as personal and workplace wellbeing plans, actions that small business owners can take themselves, and tips on how small business advisers can look after their own mental health.
It is available for download at bb.org.au/supportingsmallbusiness
The guide complements Everymind’s Ahead for Business website and app for small business owners.
Mental health professionals are available at the Beyond Blue Support Service via phone 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or via www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support for online chat (3PM – 12AM AEST or email responses within 24 hours).