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COVID-19: Small business mental health

1 Apr 2020

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is having unprecedented effects on small business operations and finances—and on the mental health and wellbeing of business owners and staff.


It's okay and completely natural for business operators and staff to be experiencing a range of stressful thoughts, feelings and behaviours, even if their businesses are not directly affected by measures to control the spread of COVID-19.

No two people will react in exactly the same way at the same time, but it is important to be prepared with information about what people can do and what supports are available if needed.

Such supports include services and resources that offer business and mental health advice and assistance.

Visit the Queensland Mental Health Commission’s main coronavirus mental health and wellbeing page for a curated range of general mental health resources, along with fact sheets for specific sectors of the community.

Business support

General mental health and wellbeing

Remember physical distance is essential to control the rate of infection. This does not mean social isolation.

Social contact and maintaining routines is important for mental health and wellbeing.

In circumstances where this is not possible, staying connected with colleagues, staff, friends and family online or by phone may assist.

Beyond Blue has a dedicated page on its forums about coping during the coronavirus outbreak.

Links and resources

Resources for small business

SuperFriend has put together a range of resources related to coronavirus mental health, with advice about looking after your own mental health, supporting peers, colleagues and teams, and working from home.


No one else will ever be able to impact your health as much as you can, and we put ourselves at risk by waiting for situations to improve themselves. So how can you positively impact your own circumstance for the better?

Working from home/staying connected

Workplaces rely on connection to thrive. Connection is the glue that enables effective teamwork and unites teams around a common purpose through meaningful work. Advice from Superfriend focuses on staying connected and staying motivated and productive.

Leading through challenges

Stress is the body’s reaction to adverse or demanding situations. It's important for managers and their teams to regularly discuss the level of stress they’re experiencing and to investigate ways to address the causes and support one another.

Managing change

As organisations grapple with the impacts of COVID-19, many of the elements of work that we are used to are changing and, in a lot of cases, employers can’t provide timelines or long term plans for how the change will playout for employees.

Supporting colleagues

What does someone in distress look like? What should you do? How can you start a conversation? The most important thing is to do or say something.

Managing mental health when you're out of work

It can be stressful to be in a job or industry where work isn’t guaranteed or if it dries up altogether. COVID-19 has also created a level of uncertainty around the future of work for many people, particularly casual workers.

There are some simple practices you can adopt to make this challenging period easier for yourself and your family.

Get support

No one is immune from mental ill-health, and reaching out for support is vital.

In an emergency ring 000.