Smiling Mind and MYOB created the Small Business Program—a psychologist-designed program to support the mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing of small business owners and their teams. In response to MYOB’s most recent SME Mental Health Report, we’ve added new content to support the mental wellbeing of the people employed across the 2.3 million small businesses currently operating in Australia.
MYOB’s most recent SME Mental Health Report revealed that a third (31%) of small and medium sized enterprise (SME) owners and operators consider mental health to be an immediate concern, but almost one in three (30%) find it difficult to talk about.
The survey of 1,000 SME owners and operators across the country found:
- In running their business over the last 12 months, 53% SME owners said it has caused them stress, up slightly on 2021 (52%) and 2020 (45%).
- 44% cited personal feelings of anxiety and 1 in 5 said they have experienced depression over the past year.
- 55% of SME owners feel responsible for the mental health and wellbeing of their staff.
- 61% think there is more they can do to improve their mental health and wellbeing.
MYOB Chief Employee Experience Officer, Helen Lea, said small business owners are facing additional challenges, with cost-of-living concerns for consumers, inflationary and supply chain pressures for businesses.
“The 2.3 million registered SMEs in the country are a group of passionate business owners who work incredibly hard and have faced many setbacks in recent times. As rewarding as running a business can be, these pressures can impact the wellbeing of those who lead them,” Ms Lea said.
“We’ve been monitoring the mental health of business owners since 2020, and while the topic has always been important, the findings are a clear reminder that this remains a major concern. The research shows that both SME owners and their teams need support, highlighting the necessity of using and providing tools to enable important conversations with their teams.”
Smiling Mind’s CEO, Dr Addie Wootten, also stresses the importance of continuing conversations around workplace mental health post-COVID.
“The latest research shows mental health conversations are a tricky subject for many small business owners. I’d encourage all business leaders to acknowledge that while it might be uncomfortable, it’s important to lead by example and create a safe environment to have open conversations to support your team members and colleagues. You don't need to know how to solve problems. Simply letting them know you’re available if they need, or directing them to resources that can help, can make a big difference."
“It’s crucial that mental health and wellbeing stays high on the agenda as we move out of COVID, as businesses are clearly still being impacted in various ways. Supporting SME owners to equip themselves in managing their own wellbeing and that of their teams has never been more important," Dr Addie Wootten said.
The Small Business Program offers practical mental wellbeing strategies—including meditations, exercises, and discovery activities. The recently added new and targeted content aims to help manage stress, improve connections with others and self and increase resilience.
“We are proud to work with MYOB to deliver free, easily implementable tools that can help support small businesses during challenging times. The Smiling Mind Small Business Program also provides proactive, preventative wellbeing support to equip SMEs before they reach a moment of overwhelm," Dr Addie Wootten said.
The Small Business program is free to access via the Smiling Mind app, offering users guidance on topics such as stress management, managing work/life balance, managing isolation, supporting growth, and building resilience. To find out more visit, https://www.smilingmind.com.au/small-business