The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell has welcomed the Federal Government’s $4.26 million budget commitment to rolling out a new mental health program for small business owners.
Leading mental health organisation Beyond Blue will deliver the New Access for Small Business service, which will provide small business owners with access to free one-on-one telehealth sessions with specially trained mental health coaches. The service is expected to commence early next year.“Mental health is proving to be the next big challenge to emerge from the COVID crisis and it is particularly impacting the small business community,” Ms Carnell says.
“There has never been a tougher time to be in business. Small business owners are struggling to stay afloat and keep their staff employed throughout this difficult period.
“Small business loans are often secured against the family home, so if they lose their business they could lose their home. It means the stakes are incredibly high and that is understandably taking a huge toll on small business owners’ mental health.
“Small business participants will have six one-on-one sessions with their designated coach, who will use evidence-based cognitive behavioural therapy to support them to overcome stress and manage anxiety and depression.”
Information on NewAccess will be available via the web portal www.asbfeo.gov.au/my-business-health/home