Published on Apr 24, 2018

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Your mental health affects your business


The belief that running your own business is stressful has been common-place for so long that it is seen as part and parcel of running a business, much like outstanding debtors and endless bills. You just cop it on the chin, right?


Not anymore. The mental health of business owners and employees are now firmly part of the conversation around how to successfully run a business. Perhaps because the definition of success now includes the concept of work—life balance.


There is no doubt running a small or medium business can be stressful.


Employees also feel the pressure of work, with deadlines, worries about job stability and wages.


Everymind (previously the Hunter Institute of Mental Health) found most workplace mental health programs are not designed for small businesses, despite the fact small business accounts for 98% of NSW business trading.


They found small business owners experience mental health triggers that differ from larger businesses, including bearing responsibility for personal and business finances, the difficulty of maintaining a healthy work-life balance and the inability to take sick leave.


What are the warning signs? You might . . .

  • Find it hard to concentrate
  • Feel anxious, irritable or find yourself prone to crying
  • Start avoiding necessary daily tasks
  • Be unable to think of things other than work
  • Be having trouble sleeping
  • Feel distanced from family and friends


Where can I go for help?


Everymind offers mental health and suicide prevention programs based on research undertaken by Everymind which has found that digital programs offer discrete and accessible help when business owners need it.


Heads Up an initiative of Beyond Blue and The Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance, offers a range of support and resources for business owners, managers and employees who need a mental-health boost.


Black Dog Institute offer workplace training programs to help employees, managers and owners learn more about mental health issues, strategies to maximise mental health, and how to deal with their own or their colleagues issues.


The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman  can also help, providing information to help identify the signs of mental illness and how to mitigate stressful workplace situations.


The Australian Taxation Office offer resources for business owners, including the capacity to tailor payment plans and lodgement dates to assist business owners who are facing mental health issues.