Ombudsman launches mental health program awareness campaign


A nationwide awareness campaign about a free, bespoke mental health support service for small business owners has begun as new research uncovered the emotional distress faced by small business owners over the past year.

Australian Small Business and Family Business Ombudsman Bruce Billson says the awareness campaign will raise awareness of Beyond Blue’s New Access for Small Business Owners program, which offers free one-on-one meetings with specially trained mental health trainers.

“It’s important for small business owners to know that help is available when they need it,” says Billson.

New Access for Small Business Owners offers free one-on-one telemedicine calls with specially trained mental health coaches who provide evidence-based advice on stress management strategies.

“It is crucial that the New Access for Small Business Owners program is run by coaches who have experience in small businesses. It really helps to know that the person you are speaking to understands what it takes to run a small business.

“We know that many small business owners were hit hard during the pandemic, especially getting in and out of bans and restrictions, and that understandably has taken its toll.

“New research published by Xero found that nearly 7 in 10 (68%) of 500 small business owners surveyed reported that the past 12 months had been more emotionally draining than any other year they were in business.

“It also found that small business executives combined lost more than eight million hours of sleep each week due to the demands on running their small business. Troubled sleep can be a sign of stress.

“It’s important for small business owners to understand that taking care of their mental health can help their business too.

“Our My Business Health web portal is a great support tool for small business owners and connects to the New Access for Small Business Owners program while providing easy-to-read, practical tips on the day-to-day tasks of running a small business.”

Beyond Blue’s New Access program for small business owners is available now. Visit My Business Health at

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