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New program to keep small business owners mentally healthy to be trialled in three sites across NSW

Everymind has developed a new program Ahead for Business, including an interactive website and app, specifically for small business owners to give them practical resources and tools to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

In NSW, the small business sector makes up almost 98 per cent of all businesses, employs 1.51 million people, contributes approximately $41.61 billion in annual wages and salaries and contributes more than $269.32 billion to annual sales and service income (NSW Small Business Commissioner).

The program has been developed in partnership with icare foundation and NSW small business owners, with the new website and app being launched this week. Ahead for Business will be activated across three trial sites in NSW throughout October – Lake Macquarie, Parramatta and Singleton, with the Lake Macquarie event happening last night with great success.

Local business owners in Parramatta and Singleton are being invited to register to attend a free information event in these areas to find out more and network with other locals in small business.

Everymind Director Jaelea Skehan said Ahead for Business was designed following research conducted in 2017 into the stressors small business owners face and the gaps in existing support for the sector.

Ms Skehan said small businesses make up almost 98 per cent of all NSW businesses and are the backbone of the economy and the community. Yet, until recently, there has been very little focus on wellbeing of small business owners.

“Small business owners face a range of stressors including long working hours, feeling obliged to work when sick, multiple responsibilities, and financial stress,” said Ms Skehan.

“We also know from our research that many small business owners were concerned about the impact of the business on the family and many were feeling disconnected or isolated in their business,” she said.

The Ahead for Business website and app will help people to assess their current situation and direct them to relevant information and available supports tailored to their specific needs. It also enables people to identify simple things they can include in their everyday routine and provides templates to develop their own Business Mental Health Plan.

The information events are a great opportunity for small business owners in each of the trial sites to be the first to start using the program and the range of tailored supports it provides.

Published: 12 October 2018

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