New tool helps make mental health everyone's business

As rewarding as it can be, running a small business can also cause stress and anxiety. That’s why MYOB has partnered with leading Australian not-for-profit in the preventative mental health space, Smiling Mind, to create a unique, free-to-use Small Business Program.

Business owners are known for regularly suffering through sleepless nights as they work through all the various challenges, contingencies and pressures their business faces.

And at a time like this — with business owners dealing with the additional stress of natural disasters, drastically changing business conditions and different living situations – their mental health becomes even more important.

Last year, MYOB conducted research that showed that mental health and wellbeing is a big deal for small businesses.

In fact, more than half (56 percent) of small business operators in Australia said running their own business has directly impacted feelings of anxiety or depression, with nearly half (48 percent) of all respondents reporting feelings of anxiety were largely caused by financial and cash flow concerns.

Alarmingly, only one in four business owners will actively seek help. And MYOB wants to change that by making mental health everyone’s business.

That’s why MYOB has partnered with Australia’s leading mindfulness app, Smiling Mind to create a dedicated program that addresses the psychological wellbeing of small business owners. And while we began working on this partnership before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear to see there’s an even greater need for it today.

Chief employee experience officer for MYOB, Helen Lea said the initiative is aimed at providing business owners an additional tool to maintain happiness and productivity during tough times.

“We know the small business community is doing it tough right now, and MYOB is dedicated to assisting them in as many ways as we can.

“This partnership with Smiling Mind gives all of us a useful tool to help guide us through these challenges, with useful strategies for maintaining positive mental health and wellbeing.

“Better still, it offers business owners a framework to begin having these conversations with staff and other key stakeholders – building community and support for each other.”

Smiling Mind and MYOB: In detail

The new program is available now for free via the Smiling Mind app, under the ‘At Work Section’. It explores a range of topics to support small business owners with Mindfulness activities and resources they can use everyday to support their mental health and wellbeing.

Dr Addie Wootten, chief executive for Smiling Mind said the contents of the program target the most effective ways business owners can work to prevent mental wellbeing challenges overwhelming their business.

“We’ll explore what mindfulness is, why it might be useful in managing stress and uncertainty and how we can use mindfulness to proactively support our wellbeing and more broadly our productivity, creativity and connections with others,” said Wootten.

“Overall, the program aims to support a positive and proactive approach to good mental health and wellbeing and strategies to support resilience in the face of challenges.

“We need these skills now more than ever before and we hope these new resources will support small business owners across Australia and New Zealand.”

These programs will support small business owners to:

  • Establish a routine to proactively look after their mental health

  • Learn about mindfulness – the benefits and the science behind it

  • Maintain a healthy work-life balance

  • Foster healthy relationships both at work and at home

  • Navigate the stresses of owning a business

“Over the three-year partnership, we will continue to add and update this program content, so it continues to be relevant to you and your business,” said Wootten.

Research shows these mindfulness activities can help small business owners and their staff take a pre-emptive approach to managing their mental health, stress and their emotions in the workplace.

With MYOB, Smiling Mind is building practical tools and resources to equip business owners with the skills they need to manage not only their own wellbeing, but that of their employees, too.

The result, Lea said, will combine with MYOB’s current offering to create a suite of tools for business owners that covers nearly every facet of business support.

“Our aim is to provide a truly holistic approach to the way we support our small business community,” said Lea.

“You’ll be able to find a range of freely accessible program resources in the Smiling Mind app – designed just for you and your employees,” said Wootten.

“These resources are designed to be easy to use and fit into your busy day but underpinned by a strong evidence base so you can rest assured that the programs are high quality and written by experts.”

 

Source : MYOB May 2020

Reproduced with the permission of MYOB. This article by MYOB Team was originally published at https://www.myob.com/au/blog/making-mental-health-everyones-business/

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