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.
- Follow official advice on how to minimise the risk of infection for staff, customers and the community.
- The Commonwealth's Coronavirus information and support for business includes financial assistance.
The Queensland Government's $4 billion COVID-19 economic relief package supports Queenslanders’ health, jobs and businesses
- The Queensland Government is partnering with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) to deliver advice, support and assistance throughout the state. See www.business.qld.gov.au and www.cciq.com.au, or contact the Small Business Hotline on 1300 654 687.
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
- Beyond Blue’s Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak page, and its forum thread on Coping during the coronavirus outbreak.
- Beyond Blue's practical tips to help run your small business from home
- The Australian Psychological Society’s Coronavirus information for Australians resource, with strategies to help adults and children.
- The Headspace How to cope with stress related to coronavirus page for young people.
Resources for small business
- The Heads up workplace mental health organisation’s Supporting small business page.
- Everymind’s Ahead for Business website and app for small business owners.
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?
- No one can care for you like you can
- Looking after you booklet
- Webcast: Five Ways to Wellbeing
- Webcast: A good night’s sleep is great for your health and wellbeing
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.
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.
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.
- Looking after yourself when you're out of work
- Making the most of a bad situation - ways to spend your time while you're out of work
No one is immune from mental ill-health, and reaching out for support is vital.
In an emergency ring 000.