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Providing advisors with the tools to support small business owners’ mental health in Australia


Sep 29, 2020

Working with small businesses is a highly rewarding experience but it can also have its challenges. We’ve heard first-hand how accountants and bookkeepers are feeling the emotional impact, as they’ve become the first line of support for many of their clients due to the impact of COVID-19.

Now more than ever advisors are often having to navigate tough conversations with their small business clients, and it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Beyond Blue in Australia to create a course for advisors to understand different ways to care for the mental wellbeing of their clients and themselves.

We’ve found that 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. Further data from a sentiment measurement tool, Mindset AI, also shows the predominant emotion of Australian small businesses in 2020 has been one of anxiety. 

Advisors first point of call

We understand that Xero partners have had a huge role in both providing financial advice to their clients, but also supporting them emotionally, while often struggling themselves. As everyone has their own mental struggles behind the scenes, it isn’t always easy to provide support and guidance without falling into the role of a psychologist or counsellor.

BAS agent, Elizabeth Nikias, who runs Capital E Bookkeeping, says the last six months has taught her many lessons on how to help small business owners in need.

“We’ve been on the receiving end of the fears, the uncertainties and the opportunities. It has strengthened our relationships with our clients and given us the opportunity to truly show our value, assisting businesses at the most critical times. We implemented survival strategies and access to JobKeeper, cash flow boosts and government grants to help them survive.”

An essential service for small business

Beyond Blue CEO, Georgie Harman, knows how much business advisors play 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. The Mental wellbeing: support yourself and small businesses course provides advisors, who often see first-hand how stress can affect small business owners, with the confidence and tools to play an important role that goes beyond advice on accounts and assets,” says Georgie.

The four-part course covers everything from looking after yourself at home, checking on others to supporting small businesses day to day. It’s now available and free for Xero partners in Australia via Xero Central.

For more resources and information on supporting mental health in small business, check out Beyond Blue’s dedicated hub, Heads Up.

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