Mental health and wellbeing resources for businesses
Owning and running a small business can be challenging, particularly during difficult times such as the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters.
Looking after your mental health and wellbeing is important to be able to work productively and achieve business and personal goals.
Pay attention to any red flags that indicate your mental health, or the health of your employees, needs to be prioritised.
On this page
- phone triple zero (000) or go to a hospital
- phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Mental health and wellbeing red flags
Be aware of the early warning signs that may indicate you need to pay attention to your mental health.
- Having trouble concentrating
- Not meeting deadlines
- Not working to the usual standard
- Withdrawing from staff
- Feeling less engaged than usual
- Feeling worthless or like a failure
- Being absent from work
- Feeling irritable, nervous, angry, anxious or worried
- Feeling depressed or low in energy
- Having trouble sleeping
- Sleeping too much
- Waking up and having difficulty getting back to sleep
- Experiencing weight or appetite changes
- Consuming more alcohol or other substances
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Experiencing panic attacks
- Having emotional or aggressive outbursts
- Engaging in destructive behaviour
- lasts for more than a few weeks
- affects your relationships and ability to work, learn or socialise
- prevents you from participating in activities you've previously enjoyed.
Online mental health checks
- Use Beyond Blue's anxiety and depression checklist to work out how your feelings may have changed. Based on your responses, you'll be given information and contacts to help you take the next step in seeking support.
- Take the Ahead for Business mental health check-up.
Who can help
Sometimes, reaching out can be hard when you're feeling overwhelmed but it's important to take the first step.
Mental health support for business owners
- Learn about NewAccess for small business owners, a free and confidential mental health coaching program. Coaches with small business backgrounds work to equip you with practical skills to overcome difficult issues (in business and at home) and manage stress.
Someone to talk to
- Talk to your friends and family about how you are feeling (read Beyond Blue's tips for conversations about mental health).
- Reach out to the Beyond Blue support service for information and support to achieve your best possible mental health, whatever your age or wherever you live.
- Find out how your doctor can help you regain your mental health and wellbeing.
- Contact 1300 MH CALL: Mental health access line for support, information, advice, triaging and referral.
- If you are concerned about alcohol and/or drug use, visit ADIS for 24/7 support. ADIS also offers a self-assessment quiz to see if your alcohol and/or drug use is risky.
- Visit My business health to learn how to keep your business afloat, manage your business and find support.
- The Small Business Financial Counselling Program provides assistance to small businesses experiencing hardship with no alternative source of impartial support. The service is delivered through the Rural Financial Service Southern Queensland and North Queensland.
- Small business wellness coaches provide assistance to small business owners experiencing mental health and wellbeing challenges, in a free, one-on-one, supportive environment.
- The Queensland Tourism Business Financial Counselling Service provides free financial counselling support to help tourism operators who have been financially impacted as a result of COVID-19.
- Mentoring for Growth offers free mentoring and business support from industry experts across Queensland.
Your mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19
For specific information and advice for staying mentally healthy during COVID-19, visit:
- the coronavirus mental wellbeing support service for information and expert advice
- Australian Government's Department of Health and Aged Care for information on mental health support during COVID-19
- Australian Psychological Society for their anxiety and staying mentally healthy fact sheet (PDF, 107KB)
- Head to Health COVID-19 support
- COVID recovery (border communities) service – a fully-funded mental health and wellbeing support service for small business owners, their families, and employees living within the Queensland border community who are experiencing distress and deterioration in wellbeing from COVID-19
- Queensland Mental Health Commission
Planning for your mental health and wellbeing
A mental health and wellbeing plan helps you identify the kinds of stressors in your business that are likely to affect your mental health, and what you can do to minimise their effects. A plan can also help you create a mentally healthy workplace and help staff who may be struggling with their own mental health. Use the following resources to develop your mental health and wellbeing plan:
- a guide to help small business owners create a mental health and wellbeing plan by the Queensland Mental Health Commission
- Heads up's practical information and expert advice on all aspects of mental health for small business owners
- Ahead for business is a digital hub that supports mentally healthy businesses with tailored resources, peer support, check-ups, personalised action plans and experiences of other small business owners.
Creating a mentally healthy workplace
- Black Dog Institute offers tips and information on how to make your business or workplace mentally healthy.
- R U OK? has mental health resources, including a mental health handbook for small business owners that encourages business owners, leaders and employees to build an R U OK culture in the workplace.
- Mentally healthy workplaces toolkit offers practical tools and resources from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland to help you make positive steps towards a mentally healthy workplace.
- Last reviewed: 21 Jul 2022
- Last updated: 14 Sep 2022