Federal Government supports small business mental health initiative

Ahead for Business, an icare foundation funded initiative developed by Everymind to support small business mental health, has received $3.1 million in Federal Government funding.

Female barista makes coffee behind a cash register standing next to a male colleague also behind the bar.

The program is designed specifically for small business owners to provide them with access to practical resources and tools to improve the mental health and wellbeing for themselves and their staff.

"It's fantastic to see innovations funded by the icare foundation recognised on a national level," said icare foundation Interim General Manager, Barney Smith

“We know that small business owners and staff have been long overlooked when it comes to mental health support."

“That’s why we supported Everymind to conduct research into the area, and from that develop the Ahead for Business site.”

“Our aim was to embed a culture of mental health in small business with easily accessible support available for business owners and their staff 24/7,” he added.

Everymind program

With icare foundation funding, Everymind was able to conduct research into small business mental health, with findings revealing the unique pressures felt by operators and their staff.

“We discovered that small business owners were struggling in silence working long hours, feeling obliged to work when sick, juggling multiple responsibilities and suffering financial stress,” said Smith.

The research was then used to develop the Ahead for Business pilot with icare foundation funding. The online program can be accessed by small businesses 24 hours a day and supports them to create a business mental health plan. The program also provides mental health information and tools as well as directing them to appropriate support services.

Following the success of the pilot and the Federal Government’s cash injection, Ahead for Business will now expand its reach into rural areas of NSW and other urban and regional sites across Australia.

“This program is a lifeline for small businesses who, up until now, have not had the support they needed,” Smith said.

Learn more about the program here.

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