Victorian small businesses eligible for mental health plan support to beat COVID stress

by Freya Lucas

July 02, 2020

Victorian small businesses, including those operating in an early childhood education and care (ECEC) context, are now eligible for help in planning for business continuity and preparing for recovery, via a free practical guide to creating a mental health plan in response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

Victorian Small Business Commissioner Judy O’Connell said that with the impacts of coronavirus being felt right across Victoria’s small business community, there has “never been a more important time for business owners to think about their wellbeing.”

 

As suburb specific lockdowns impact some Victorian postcodes, Commissioner O’Connell said that mental health may be pushed to the back burner for small business owners, who are focused on trying to get their businesses through this difficult period and looking after their family and staff.

 

“Creating a mental health plan is one way to make sure they have practical strategies that they can call on to look after themselves and their staff” she added.

 

To develop the guide, the Victorian Small Business Commission consulted with Beyond Blue and drew on the experiences of small business owners with lived experience of overcoming mental health challenges.

 

“Our new guide helps small business owners to identify stressors that might come up, such as feeling overwhelmed over not being able to pay rent when they’ve had to significantly limit how they trade.”

 

Business owners can use the plan to help identify changes in themselves that signal when they might need extra support and actions they can take, such as staying connected with friends online and getting accurate information about supports, including for commercial tenants and landlords.

 

Small business owners who are feeling worried or struggling to cope are encouraged to call Beyond Blue’s Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service (1800 512 348) at any time to speak with a trained counsellor.

 

To access the resource, please see here

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