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Online mental health support for small businesses

27 August 2020

The Morrison Government has invested an additional $3.1 million to expand mental health and wellbeing services available through the Ahead for Business initiative to ensure small business owners and their staff can access support and resources.

Hosted by mental health organisation Everymind, the digital hub offers small and family businesses resources including articles, videos, podcasts and toolkits.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said while the financial assistance the government had provided was essential, it was imperative to also provide mental health and wellbeing support for those working in small businesses.

“Being a small-business owner comes with a unique set of pressures and responsibilities such as isolation, financial stress and workload pressure,” Minister Cash said.

“We are also seeing the enormous impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having, with many small businesses forced to close their doors and facing uncertainty about their future.

“Now, more than ever, we are reminded how vital it is that we help small businesses manage their mental health. Providing access to trusted information in this difficult time is crucial.”

The Government is making record investments in mental health services and support, with expenditure estimated to be $5.2 billion this year alone. Supporting mental health and suicide prevention remains one of the Government’s highest priorities.

Everymind Acting Director, Associate Professor Carmel Loughland said the Institute was proud to launch the new Ahead for Business digital hub.

“The Ahead for Business digital hub is part of a national strategy designed to support small business owners in every setting and empower them to prioritise their mental health and wellbeing. A healthy mind supports a healthy business,” Associate Professor Loughland said.

“We want to encourage our small business community to prioritise their mental health and through tailored resources and check-ups the Ahead for Business digital hub will empower those working in small businesses to achieve this.”

Users of Ahead for Business will also be able to access anonymous peer-to-peer forums and an online wellbeing plan is among the range of supports available.

For more information on Ahead for Business visit: www.aheadforbusiness.org.au

Further resources to support small business owners’ health and wellbeing can be found at My Business Health and Beyond Blue’s Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service.

Media contacts: Minister Cash's Office 02 6277 7610