COSBOA today congratulates the partnership of Beyond Blue, Xero and GO1 for creating a free mental health first aid course for small business advisors called Mental wellbeing: support yourself and small businesses.
The four-part course is available to those that advise small businesses – such as accountants, bookkeepers and industry associations – and teaches mental health basics including how to recognise when someone needs support, how to have a conversation with a small business owner they are worried about, and how to look after their own mental health.
COSBOA CEO Peter Strong said “This is a fantastic initiative. We know that there is a link between financial distress and mental distress, and that financial advisers are often among the first to notice when something is amiss with a small business owner’s mental health. They need to know what to do in this situation.”
Mr Strong added “As we all know, many small businesses are in a difficult spot right now and facing tough decisions around reopening, restructuring, and even – sadly – closing down. It’s completely normal for these stressful decisions to negatively affect someone’s mental health. Small business owners will likely turn to their existing advisers for help with these decisions, so it’s a very wise idea to equip these people with the tools they need to support clients struggling with their mental health without falling into the role of a counsellor or psychologist.”
Mr Strong further added “For small business owners, they often find it difficult to separate their personal life and identity from that of their business. It’s so important to them. When the health of their business is low, their own mental health is also affected. And we have a lot of businesses in poor health now.”
COSBOA is concerned that the current mental health support services on offer for small business owners are inadequate. There is a wealth of online resources and information, but little in the way of face-to-face counselling that recognises the connection between the economic health of their business and their own mental health. .
Mr Strong said “More organisations need to take initiatives like this one. This is a good initiative because it goes beyond just putting generic advice on a website about getting enough sleep and exercising regularly – not that that isn’t needed as well.”
Mr Strong concluded “well done Beyond Blue, Go1 and Xero for taking action by developing this course and offering it for free.”
Register for the course here.