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Mental health for small business

Owning a small business can be a rewarding experience but it can involve long hours, stress, unpredictable cash flow and multiple responsibilities, which can impact your health and well-being. 

If you’re worried about how your business is performing or are involved in a business dispute that’s causing you stress, contact the Commission

Providing a mentally healthy work environment, ensuring staff stay physically and mentally healthy, and ensuring your own mental health and wellbeing is being looked after are important for the viability of your small business, your employees, suppliers, customers and family. 

There are mental health resources and support available for owners and operators of small businesses which can help them cope with the uncertainty and support their staff when their business faces challenging times. 

Resources for small business owners 

Beyond Blue information and resources 

Beyond Blue provides mental health information and support to help everyone in Australia, regardless of age and location. 

Heads Up 

BeyondBlue has partnered with the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance to create Heads Up. Heads Up provides information for employers, employees, managers and small business with free, practical information and resources to create mentally healthy workplaces and respond to mental health issues in the workplace. 

NewAccess – Mental Health Coaching Support 

Beyond Blue has also developed a free and confidential 6-week mental health coaching program for small business owners to provide the support they need. The NewAccess for Small Business Owners program (a 1/2 hour per week coaching session) focuses on supporting small business owners, including sole traders, to overcome a particular problem, while managing any presenting issues around anxiety or depression. The coaching support service is part of a mental health program available for anyone who is having a hard time. 

BeyondBlue also has resources available for those who are supporting someone with a mental health condition. If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health concerns, support is available through the BeyondBlue helpline 1300 22 4636, via chat or email.  

Other resources for your small businesses and your staff: 

NSW Government - Mental Health at Work website 

The NSW Government’s Mental Health at Work website outlines important information on mental health training as well as work, health and safety advice. Business owners and operators can learn about the more about mental health at work, the rights and obligations, and access free training and resources for businesses and employees, through the NSW Government’s Mental health at Work website.  

COVID-19 Mental Health at Work Resource Kit. 

The website contains mentally healthy workplace resources, including the COVID-19 Mental Health at Work Resource Kit. The kit offers information on supporting your staff by consulting and communicating with them, managing workplace factors that could negatively impact mental health, creating healthy habits, checking in regularly, and encouraging social connection. To access the kit, visit COVID-19 mental health at work resource kit

One-On-One Business Coaching 

The NSW Government has partnered with Transitioning Well to deliver a pilot initiative which provides free one-on-one mental health coaching programs to help your business or not-for-profit create a mentally healthy workplace. Coaching services are available for up to four hours delivered online, or over the phone, seven days a week from 7am to 7pm. The service focuses on providing small business owners hands-on guidance to help your business create a mentally healthy workplace. For more information or to register for the program, see One-On-One Business Coaching

Resources for regional businesses

More than 60% of small businesses in regional and rural NSW feel that mental health or stress is a concern for their business. SafeWork NSW's new online Regional resource kit has tailored advice and resources for regional businesses to promote and manage mental health at work. 

The kit outlines six factors that impact workplace mental health in regional NSW:   

  • access to support services   
  • separating work and home life   
  • labour shortages   
  • seasonal work   
  • traumatic events
  • alcohol and other drug use.

Other support for small business 

Australian Taxation Office (ATO) - Support in difficult times 

If your mental wellbeing is affecting your ability to pay your tax or super, the Australian Taxation Office may be able to help with setting up a payment plan, deferring a lodgement or payment, or fast tracking your tax return. Contact the ATO to hear about your options as a small business owner or operator.  

Other mental health support 

Lifeline Australia is a national organisation which provides 24-hour support and suicide prevention services. Information and resources are available for concerned family and friends. Call 13 11 14 or contact them on chat

The following are free services available 24 hours a day, seven days a week: 

  • Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511 
  • Mensline - 1300 789 978 
  • Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800 

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 000.