Beyond Blue has launched an online training course to help small business advisers provide mental health support to business owners affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The free “Mental wellbeing: support yourself and small businesses” course has been launched at a time when two-thirds of Australia’s small business owners report the pandemic has negatively affected their mental health.
The course is available nationwide through Beyond Blue’s supporting partners Xero and Go1.
Evidence shows many small business owners seek advice and support from trusted advisers, including accountants, bookkeepers, tax agents, industry associations and representative bodies who are often the first to notice when a client might be experiencing mental health issues.
However, advisers also say they want to know more about the signs to look out for, how to start a conversation with a client they are worried about, and how to connect small business owners to appropriate support.
The course, which is offered through Beyond Blue’s Heads Up website, covers four key topic areas:
- An introduction to mental health and how to recognise when someone needs support
- How advisers can look after their own wellbeing in the workplace and at home
- How to have a conversation with a small business owner you are worried about, and
- How advisers can proactively support small business owners
Beyond Blue board director (and Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman) Kate Carnell said business advisers played a crucial support role for people who run
“Small business owners turn to established and trusted business networks for advice and support, particularly during tough times.
“The course will provide advisers, who often see first-hand how stress can affect small business owners, with the confidence and tools to play a crucial support role that goes beyond advice on accounts and assets.
“On behalf of Beyond Blue, I thank Xero for their commitment to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of the small business community and their skills and expertise in developing the course with us.
“We also greatly appreciate Go1’s support to ensure the course is available across Australia to all business advisers free of charge.”
To get access to the course, head to bb.org.au/advisers.
The Beyond Blue Support Service is available via phone 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or via beyondblue.org.au/get-support for online chat (3pm-midnight or email responses within 24 hours).
The new Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Service is available 24/7 at coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au. A dedicated phone line, staffed by mental health professionals briefed on the pandemic response is now open on 1800 512 348.