A new Australian interactive website and mobile app are now available to support small business owners to take action on their mental health and wellbeing. Ahead for Business has been developed specifically for small business owners to connect them with practical tips, tools and programs to manage stress, build resilience, improve performance and make mental health an achievable focus in their business.
In 2017, national mental health and suicide prevention Institute Everymind conducted research into the stressors small business owners face and the gaps in existing support for the sector. The research revealed small business owners experience higher levels of symptoms of depression and anxiety than the national average.
Following this research, Ahead for Business was designed as a fit-for-purpose digital response that connects small business owners and those that support them with evidence-based information, e-mental health programs, face-to-face services, and networks with whom they can interact.
The Ahead for Business website and app will help small business owners to assess their current situation and direct them to relevant information and available supports tailored to their specific needs. It also enables owners to identify simple things they can include in their everyday routine and provides templates to develop their own Business Mental Health Plan.
The program has been developed by Everymind, with support from icare foundation, and in partnership with a leadership group including small business owners, business owners with lived experience of mental ill-health, icare foundation, the NSW Small Business Commissioner, the National Mental Health Commission, the NSW Mental Health Commission, the NSW Business Chamber and other experts in the field.
The new program is being trialled between October 2018 and June 2019 in three NSW pilot locations including - Lake Macquarie, Parramatta and Singleton. Small business owners in these regions are encouraged to visit www.aheadforbusiness.org.au, register to take part in the trial and download the app.
The research trial also includes access to Facebook groups for each pilot site, which are available for small business owners in the respective locations, to allow them to connect with other owners, discuss challenges they experience with their business, and to talk about mental health and wellbeing. These can be accessed by clicking the below link and logging into your Facebook account:
Lake Macquarie - http://bit.ly/groupLM
Parramatta - http://bit.ly/groupparra
Singleton - http://bit.ly/groupSingleton
Sign up today and play a role in the development of the Ahead for Business, and support yourself and other small business in your community: www.aheadforbusiness.org.au/research-trial
You can listen to Peter Strong's Podcast here