Small businesses bring significant economic and employment benefits to New South Wales. Small business owners face a number of specific stressors and risk factors, which can result in mental ill-health, poor general health and family conflict. These include financial pressures, high work demands, long work hours, market variability and a lack of focus on self-care and work-life boundaries.

Everymind is currently working with a range of partners to develop and evaluate online digital strategies to address mental health for those who work in the small business sector. An initial pilot was conducted of Ahead for Business, a fit-for-purpose digital hub to support small business owners in taking action on their own mental health and wellbeing.

The Prevention Hub will aim to enhance the resources offered to small business in two primary ways. Firstly, increasing our understanding of the distinctive needs of those in small business, by exploring the extent of mental ill health specific to the sector, and the identification of any modifiable risk factors. The results of this research will be used to help shape the development of new content areas, and to tailor and refine existing digital approaches for addressing mental health in small business owners and workers in NSW.

Secondly, implementation research will be conducted to better understand factors that influence uptake of digital approaches by small business and to identify any barriers and enablers that may impact on scalability.

Principal researchers