Ahead for Business has been developed to help small business owners to take action on their own mental health and wellbeing.

Ahead for Business includes a website and app for small business owners, a communication strategy and work in local communities to mobilise small business owners and those who support them.

The website connects small business owners with information, programs and interventions that can help with planning, managing every day business stressors and taking action for mental health challenges.

Business owners can get tailored recommendations about useful information and programs by completing the 2-minute Business stressor screen and the 5-minute Mental Health 'Check-Up'.

This digital platform went live on 11 October 2018 and content will be built and refined with feedback from small business owners. Additional articles, podcasts, video case-studies and links will be added to the Toolkit in the coming months as our research progresses and we incorporate feedback from trial participants.

As the largest employment sector in Australia, small businesses are an important setting for a focus on mental health.

But we have heard from small business owners that most of the current workplace mental health approaches are not suitable to a small business environment. Ahead for Business seeks to address that.

Research conducted by Everymind and icare foundation identified a range of issues for action:

  • small business owners experience symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress at concerning levels
  • stigma is often a barrier to seeking help, so any approach needs to be accessible, anonymous and discrete
  • small business owners are often under financial pressure and work long hours, so supports need to be flexible, available after hours and cost-effective.

The team behind Ahead for Business

Ahead for Business has been developed by Everymind, in partnership with a leadership group which includes small business owners, icare foundation, the NSW Small Business Commissioner, the National Mental Health Commission, the NSW Mental Health Commission, the NSW Business Chamber, the University of Newcastle and other experts in the field.

Initial funding for Ahead for Business has been provided by the icare foundation in NSW to co-design the approach and to trial the solution initially in three regions of NSW to refine and make recommendations about future scalability.

If you would like more information about Ahead for Business or would like to be involved in the research, please contact us:

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Ahead for Business