Over the past year, researchers from Everymind have been conducting research to better understand the specific needs of those who work in small business, with a focus on small business owners and sole traders.
Ahead for Business has been developed as a response to the issues identified by small business owners and the types of solutions and supports that they believed would work.
Ahead for Business is a new platform (including a website and smartphone application), so we would like to know what you think about it! We are interested to know if Ahead for Business meets your needs, as well as any areas you feel that can be improved or expanded.
We know that despite 98 per cent of all actively trading businesses considered small, most current workplace mental health programs not designed, nor suitable for those who work in small business.
Tell us what you think about Ahead for Business by completing a brief online survey here.
Ahead for Business will initially be trialled in three geographical regions – Lake Macquarie, Parramatta and Singleton. The website and app will supported by a range of activities occurring in those communities to mobilise small business owners and those who support them.
Everymind partnered with icare foundation in 2017 to conduct a review of the research evidence and collect data from 442 small business owners and workers to inform a White Paper, which revealed a range of stresses that impact on small business owners. The research revealed that:
- Small business owners and workers experience depression, anxiety and stress at concerning levels, so opportunities to intervene early with evidence-based treatment and support that is easily accessible is critical.
- A number of stressors for small business owners were identified, including the obligation to work when sick, financial stress, having multiple responsibilities (including responsibility for staff) and challenges obtaining a work-life balance.
- A number of stressors were associated with current symptoms of depression and anxiety, including working in isolation, financial stress, and worry about the impact of the business on the family.
- Small businesses can be under immense financial pressure and can be time poor, often working long hours, so supports need to be flexible, available after usual business hours and cost effective.
- Stigma may be a barrier for small business owners and workers, so interventions need to be accessible, anonymous and discrete.
- Health-related productivity losses in small business are high, with people often absent from work due to ill-health and/or working despite a health-related problem.
- Use of online approaches to improve mental health in small business should be explored, given the evidence for e-health approaches, the frequent use of the internet by small business owners and employees, and the fact that most indicated they were likely to look online first if they had an issue or concern.
The results of this research were summarised in a White Paper.
If you would like more information about Ahead for Business or would like to be involved in the research, please contact us: