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34% NSW small businesses call mental health a ‘major challenge’

Support available for business owners and operators; COVID-19 has profoundly impacted every facet of running a small business, including the toll taken on mental health.  The Commission’s August Small Business Survey found mental health concerns were the third biggest challenge currently affecting small businesses, after the impact of the coronavirus in general and the impact of lockdowns. A third (34%) of businesses reported mental health concerns were a major challenge.

Understanding what mental health resources and support is available for owners and operators of small businesses can help them cope with the uncertainty and support their staff through these challenging times.

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 vitally important.

There are resources, information and support available for small business owners and operators to support better mental health in the workplace.

RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND THEIR STAFF:

NSW Government – Mental Health at Work

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. Visit mental health at work.

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.

RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS

Beyond Blue: NewAccess – Mental Health Coaching Support

Beyond Blue has 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.

One-On-One Business Coaching

The NSW Government has partnered with Assure Programs 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.

OTHER SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESSS

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.

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