According to a recent survey by not-for-profit organisation Beyond Blue, one in three small business owners report having experienced high stress and depression.
“It’s mainly due to working long hours, social isolation, customer demands, cash flow issues and conflicting demands between home and work,” said Georgie Harman, CEO of Beyond Blue. “Small business owners have told Beyond Blue they want mental heath resources to be available through their business networks so they can access information through established and trusted contacts.”
In response to their findings, Beyond Blue has created a guide. Called Supporting Small Business Owners To Improve Their Mental Health and Wellbeing at Work, it is downloadable for free from the Beyond Blue website and includes a personal wellbeing plan for business owners as well as a workplace wellbeing plan to help them support with employees.
With chapters including ‘Signs of poor mental health and wellbeing’ and ‘Solutions for small business owners’, the guide is a deep-dive into keeping your own mental health in check with the going gets tough at the salon. “It can also help the loved ones of small business owners to provide support when work is getting on top of them,” Georgie said.
According to the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell, the guide can also be a wake-up call for business owners who may be sliding into depression without realising. “Many small business owners may not be aware that the very worries that are keeping them up at night – be it cashflow, customer demands or paying suppliers – can actually cause high levels off psychological distress and have serious impacts on their mental health and physical health, she said. “The guide is easy to navigate and provides business [owners] with the tools they need.”
If you are suffering from depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts, or you’re worried about someone else and feel that urgent professional support is needed, contact your local doctor or one of the 24/7 crisis agencies below:
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467