week’s events including RUOk Day resulted in the opportune time to talk
about how small business owners can deal with mental health issues in their

The statistics around mental health and suicide in Australia are
truly staggering:

65% of small business owners have a mental
health condition

54% of people who have a mental health
condition don’t seek treatment

Of deaths among 25-44 year olds, 75% are due
to suicide

These numbers paint a distressing picture.

The pressures on small business owners can also be amplified by
the lack of resources and awareness to deal with mental health issues – both their
own and those of their staff and families.

It’s a fact that often small businesses don’t have the resources
to invest in professional counselling services for owners and staff. Between
paying the rent and ensuring adequate cashflow, as well as the costs of
insurance, there wouldn’t be too many businesses that could afford to provide professional

As a result, the role of counsellor often falls on the business
owner, which is flawed due to the increased stress, isolation and pressure that
small business owners often find themselves under.

Fortunately, as a society we’re getting much better at having
conversations around mental health, but we still have a long way to go. As a
result, Beyond Blue has recently released a guide to help small businesses
handle mental health issues. You can download it here.

The guide provides some great tips, including:

How to improve awareness and reduce stigma in small

How to make information available in the

How to support staff who are experiencing
mental health issues

In my view, it boils down to open and honest communication. I know
that I consider my staff and colleagues who run small businesses that I deal
with regularly as my family. Asking “RUOk” can be enough to get the
conversation started.

Posted in , ,