Supporting small business owners' mental wellbeing in response to coronavirus

For help in planning for business continuity and preparing for recovery, Victorian small business owners can now access a free practical guide to creating a mental health plan in response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Victorian Small Business Commissioner Judy O’Connell said that with the impacts of coronavirus being felt right across Victoria’s small business community, there has never been a more important time for business owners to think about their wellbeing.

“With many small business owners focused on trying to get their businesses through this difficult period and looking after their family and staff, they might not have prioritised their own mental health,” Commissioner O’Connell said.

“Creating a mental health plan is one way to make sure they have practical strategies that they can call on to look after themselves and their staff.”

To develop the guide, the Victorian Small Business Commission consulted with Beyond Blue and drew on the experiences of small business owners with lived experience of overcoming mental health challenges.

“Our new guide helps small business owners to identify stressors that might come up, such as feeling overwhelmed over not being able to pay rent when they’ve had to significantly limit how they trade.”

Business owners can use the plan to help identify changes in themselves that signal when they might need extra support and actions they can take, such as staying connected with friends online and getting accurate information about supports, including for commercial tenants and landlords.

“Our guide comes with an easy to use template for small business owners to build their own plan with supports that meet their needs and suit their circumstances.”

Small business owners who are feeling worried or struggling to cope are encouraged to call (1800 512 348) at any time to speak with a trained counsellor.

Source: Victorian Small Business Commission