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Online mental health course for Australian SMEs

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Analysis from a sentiment measurement tool, Mindset AI, also shows the predominant emotion of Australian small business owners in 2020 has been one of anxiety. 

It is because of this that Xero, the global small business platform, today announced the release of a new online mental health course for small business advisors, developed in partnership with Beyond Blue. 

Xero’s research shows 42 per cent of Australian small business owners are concerned about their own mental health and 44 per cent are worried about the mental health of their employees.

The four-part course ‘Mental wellbeing: support yourself and small businesses’ has been created for small business advisors such as accountants and bookkeepers, to understand different ways to care for their own mental health and the wellbeing of their clients. 

Related: “How COVID-19 has impacted female entrepreneurs”

“Running a business is a highly rewarding experience but it can also have its challenges. Businesses regularly turn to their advisors during these challenging times and advisors often have to navigate tough conversations. In a year of great uncertainty, this has only been exacerbated,” said Rebecca Gravestock, Director of People and Performance, Xero Australia and Asia.   

“The course has been designed to help advisors understand more about mental health and how to provide support to someone who might be struggling, without them falling into the role of a psychologist or counsellor,” she said.

“Importantly, it also provides some tips for advisors on how to look after their own mental health and wellbeing.”

Kate Carnell (AO), Beyond Blue Board Director and Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, said advisors played a crucial support role for people who run a business.

“Small business owners turn to established and trusted business networks for advice and support, particularly during tough times,” said Ms Carnell.

“The Mental wellbeing: support yourself and small businesses course will provide advisors, who often see first-hand how stress can affect small business owners, with the confidence and tools to play a crucial support role that goes beyond advice on accounts and assets.

“On behalf of Beyond Blue, I thank Xero for their commitment to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of the small business community and their skills and expertise in developing the course with us,” concluded Ms Carnell.  

The course’s four parts cover: 

  • An introduction to mental health and how to recognise when someone needs support
  • How advisers can look after their own wellbeing in the workplace and at home
  • How to have a conversation with a small business owner you are worried about
  • How advisers can proactively support small business owners.

It’s now available and free for Xero partners in Australia via Xero Central.


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Ellie Dudley
Ellie Dudley
Ellie Dudley is a journalist at Dynamic Business with a background in the startup space and current affairs reporting . She has a specific interest in foreign investment and the Australian economy.