Small business owners more likely to suffer mental health issues

Are headaches getting you down?
Are headaches getting you down?

RUNNING a small business presents many challenges.

Generating vital income and juggling multiple responsibilities, often with limited or no assistance, can be stressful.

While it has its undoubted rewards, research into mental health issues indicates they are more likely to arise among small business owners than other members of the workforce.

Long hours without holidays, unpredictable cash flow, generating sales and responsibility for employees can lead to mental exhaustion, stress, anxiety or even depression.

This in turn could affect your ability to run your business, and have an impact on your relationships with family, friends, employees, suppliers and customers.

It is normal to have some stress in your life and often it can motivate you to reach your goals.

But stress becomes a problem when it shifts from being helpful to overwhelming.

If these symptoms are arising, there are services that offer valuable support.

Recognising that advisers, family and friends can support the mental health and wellbeing of Australia’s 2.26 million small business owners, Beyond Blue has released the ‘Supporting small business owners to improve their mental health and wellbeing at work’ guide.

It provides business advisers such as accountants, bookkeepers, tax agents, industry associations or family and friends, with practical tips on providing support without the need to be a trained counsellor or clinician.

The guide was designed for this support network because they are often the first to notice when small business owners experience mental health challenges.

The guide also provides links to resources such as personal and workplace wellbeing plans, actions that small business owners can take themselves, and tips on how small business advisers can look after their own mental health.

It is available for download at bb.org.au/supportingsmallbusiness

The guide complements Everymind’s Ahead for Business website and app for small business owners, available at aheadforbusiness.org.au

The smoother your business is running, the less likely you are to experience work-related stress.

The Small Business Development Corporation provides a range of services to the small business sector, from business workshops to advisory services, wellbeing advice and much more.

Visit smallbusiness.wa.gov.au or contact one of our experienced team on 13 12 49.