Greater Whitsunday Alliance (GW3) is encouraging small business owners who may be struggling after a tough year to take advantage of the extended MIW Business Wellbeing Service.
The MIW Business Wellbeing Service provides free mental health support to Mackay Isaac Whitsunday small business owners.
“As we move towards the end of the year it is a season that is difficult and stressful for many and this year those feelings and struggles may have increased due to COVID-19 crisis,” GW3 chief executive officer Kylie Porter said.
Backed by the BHP Vital Resources Fund, the wellbeing service allows small business owners to access free sessions with a mental health professional.
Regional mental health specialist selectability has provided mental health professionals for the MIW Business Wellbeing Service since June.
Selectability general manager Chris Attard said work-related stress from running a small business, particularly in the current COVID-19 influenced climate, was not uncommon.
While stress was not the same as mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression, excessive or long-term stress could increase the risk of developing a mental health condition, he said.
Mr Attard said business owners with poor or declining mental health could inadvertently affect the mental health and performance of their employees.
“If you are feeling down, sad and/or anxious, or you have noticed that you have low energy and lack motivation then seeking early help from a qualified mental health specialist can make a difference,” he said.
To be eligible for the MIW Business Wellbeing Service, people must have a registered small business with a current ABN and their business must be based in the Mackay Isaac Whitsunday region.
Ms Porter said small business owners could self-refer by calling 1300 637 999 or by registering thorough the MIW Business Wellbeing Service website www.miwwellbeing.com.au . They could also join via a referral from their GP, she said.