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Health and Aged Care

Mental health support for small business

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The Morrison Government is putting the mental health of small business owners first with the with the launch of a coaching and support program.

NewAccess for Small Business Owners will provide free, confidential and tailored mental health coaching to small business owners.

The program is part of the Government’s $7 million BusinessBalance initiative, announced in the 2020-21 Budget. BusinessBalance provides immediate, short-term support of mental and financial wellbeing for small business as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Australia’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and yet small business owners suffer more from depression and anxiety than the general population,” Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said.

“Despite collectively employing more Australians, small business owners have the fewest resources to deal with their own needs, including their mental health. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this, putting our small business owners under even more financial and emotional pressure,” Minister Michaelia said.

“That’s why it is crucial to our economy that small business owners get the support they need towards recovery from COVID-19 and beyond,” Minister Michaelia said.

Developed by Beyond Blue, in partnership with the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, NewAccess for Small Business Owners is designed to help small business owners who are feeling overwhelmed about everyday life issues, which may be caused by business challenges, staffing, relationships, health or loneliness. Coaches will have a small business background.

BusinessBalance also includes the Counting on U program, delivered through Deakin University, which is a free and professional development program that builds the mental health knowledge of trusted business advisers.

The advisers are trained in mental health first aid and relationship-building skills so they can recognise signs of mental and financial stress in small business owners and connect them to specialised services.

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