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Small business mental health

Small business is a strong contributor to community prosperity and wellbeing, as well as to Queensland’s economy. The challenges of small business can not only influence the economy, they can affect the mental health and wellbeing of business owners and their employees.

The Preparing for Challenging Times resource is designed to help small businesses develop mental health plans. 

The importance of small business for economic resilience has been highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is recognised that there can’t be economic recovery without human and social recovery.

Unique challenges

Small business has many positive aspects, but can create unique stressors for workplace mental health, including:

  • characteristically long working hours
  • blurred boundaries between home and work, leading to work-life imbalance
  • working in isolation
  • pressure to work when sick
  • financial stress due to unpredictable income and cash flow
  • multiple responsibilities including responsibility for staff
  • family and relationship problems, and
  • increased risk of business failure.

Strengthening mental health and wellbeing

Mental health and wellbeing is important at all times, not just at times of stress or challenges.

Strong mental health equips people to work productively, achieve their goals, and deal with challenges and stressors. 

Including mental health and wellbeing as an integral part of overall business planning and operations contributes to a healthy bottom line for the business, as well as for the owner and staff. 

The Commission has partnered with:

  • the Queensland Small Business Commissioner
  • Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, and
  • Beyond Blue

to produce Preparing for challenging times: A small business owner’s guide to creating a mental health and wellbeing plan and a mental health plan template.

The Victorian Small Business Commission is acknowledged for allowing use and adaptation of its Responding to coronavirus (COVID-19): A small business owner's guide to creating a mental health guide. 

About the resources

The information contained in the resources can help small business people develop a mental health plan. It includes advice to help owners and staff sustain their own mental health and wellbeing, and information on where to turn for additional support.

The guide supports the Commonwealth’s New Access for Small Business Owners initiative.