Health portal launched to help small business owners manage stress and mental health issues

17th December 2019 | News

On 10 December 2019 federal Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash and Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell launched the My Business Health portal at a special event in Canberra.

The new, free web portal offers support and resources to safeguard the mental health of business owners including:

Acknowledging the hard work and dedication of the small business community, Senator Cash highlighted how the long hours and pressure many are under can have serious consequences on mental health.

“There is no ‘off-switch’ in small business. And when you walk in the door at home you are dealing with the financial pressures of not only providing for your family, but providing for the families of your staff and suppliers as well,” she said.

“Unfortunately, with all that pressure looking after your business, sometimes it’s hard to find the time to look after yourself.

“Seeking help is not always easy and research shows that there is a need for more specialised support to address mental ill-health within the sector.

“This is all about making sure small businesses can access the help they need, when they need it.”

Kate Carnell echoed the sentiments of Ms Cash. “My Business Health…offers practical information and resources about those day-to-day issues that keep small business owners awake at night,” she said.

“Mental health is a serious issue for Australia’s small business community, with the Productivity Commission’s draft report into mental health finding the cost of absenteeism and presenteeism to the sector is over $17 billion per year.

“A recently released MYOB report revealed 56 per cent of small business owners feel that running their business has directly brought on anxiety and depression [and] 48 per cent of those small business owners reported their anxiety was largely caused by financial and cash flow concerns.”

Ms Carnell concluded: “We know that it makes good business sense to invest in workplace wellbeing, with every dollar spent on creating a mentally healthy workplace providing solid return on investment.”

The hub has been funded through a $3.7 million Small Business Mental Health package announced by the federal government in 2018.