Above and Beyond support for small business owners

Filed in Just In by July 14, 2021

BEYOND Blue is now offering a free, confidential mental health program to small business owners and sole traders aged 18 and above, to help them deal with pressures caused by Covid-19.

The ‘NewAccess’ program runs over six weekly sessions and uses Low-intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (LiCBT) to help participants manage stress and break unhelpful thoughts.

Beyond Blue Lead Clinical Adviser, Dr Grant Blashki, said Covid-19 has noticeably challenged Australia’s hardworking small business owners and their employees, with support services increasing by up to 30 percent since the pandemic began.

“As a GP, I’ve noticed that small business owners and employees are really under pressure and are often having to make tough decisions such as letting go of employees, whilst at the same time trying to keep the business afloat,” Dr Blashki said.

“They are having to cope with the pandemic’s economic consequences and are experiencing significant stress and anxiety,” he said.

Dr Grant Blashki. Photo supplied by Medical Journal of Australia.

“We continue to see monthly demand for Beyond Blue’s support services remaining at between 20 to 30 percent above pre-pandemic levels,” he said.

“Beyond Blue’s message to small business owners is that we are here for them and that putting themselves first can have many benefits for their business,” said Dr Blashki.

NewAccess coaches are specially trained by the CBT Institute and all have small business backgrounds, which helps them relate to participants whilst they guide them through the program.

“Often during a crisis, it can be hard to step back and see things clearly,” Dr Blashki said.

“The NewAccess coaches are well-placed to help business people identify what is causing their stress and provide practical problem-solving approaches and strategies to look after themselves during the pandemic,” he said.

“At your first appointment, your coach will complete an initial assessment with you, and develop a program tailored to your individual needs,” he said.

“Coaches are also trained to refer participants to other support services as required,” said Dr Blashki.

The NewAccess program is funded by the Federal Government and is available exclusively through Telehealth, with no cost to participants.

For more information or to enroll in the program click here or call 1300 945 301.

Note: For the purposes of program eligibility, a small business is defined as less than or equal to 20 employees.

NewAccess program snapshot

  • Available nationally by phone or video call;
  • Free and confidential;
  • Designed to support small business owners manage life pressures so you can move forward;
  • A structured six session program, which provides practical coping tools;
  • Participants will work with a coach who will guide them through a tailored, personal program;
  • No doctor’s referral or mental health treatment plan is required, so participants don’t have to visit a doctor first;
  • Is available via phone, video call from Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm AEST and closed on public holidays.

A person is not eligible for the program if they are:

  • Currently seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist;
  • Dealing with severe/complex mental health issues.

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