The past 18 months has had an enormous impact on small business owners. From the economic hardship of lockdowns and restrictions to the ongoing uncertainty related to COVID-19, the emotional toll on this sector has been immense.
Research by software leaders Xero have found that 68% of respondents reported the past 12 months as more emotionally draining than any other year they’ve been in business.
The survey also found small business leaders have collectively lost more than eight million hours of sleep each week due to the demands of running their small business.
Financial stress and ongoing uncertainty can result in fatigue, stress, anxiety and depression. Mental health can affect anyone of any age, gender or location and the effect on the individual, their business and family can be significant.
We believe it is therefore important to continue to bring awareness to mental health and the resources and support available.
In support of RU OK? Day on September 9th, Hall Chadwick QLD is encouraging staff to have conversations around mental health with their colleagues, family and friends. Conversations designed to make a difference, and potentially change a life.
Small business owners may also find it helpful to look at the wide range of resources available by Beyond Blue, including the launch of NewAccess, a free and confidential mental health coaching program for small business owners. NewAccess coaches have small business backgrounds and are available by phone or video call, Australia wide.
You can find out more about this service here: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/newaccess/newaccess-for-small-business-owners
Heads Up (by Beyond Blue) also has a range of resources for small business owners including how to support staff and learn more about the symptoms that affect wellbeing. Support from Heads Up includes a range of case studies from other small businesses, as well as strategies and tips.
Visit the Small Business support page from Heads Up here: https://www.headsup.org.au/healthy-workplaces/for-small-businesses
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
If you or someone you know is struggling, there are a number of Australian professionals and crisis lines that can be contacted: