This story was first published on 24 June 2019. If you wish to use this content, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm that the information is still current.
Civil celebrant Julie Muir was experiencing mental health challenges in her personal life in addition to the daily stressors of running a successful small business. Looking for flexible, accessible online support, she discovered the Ahead for Business website and the tools, tips and resources that helped her cope with stress and find balance.
Julie believes that a sense of isolation and being responsible for all aspects of the business are major challenges that many small business owners face.
“It’s not enough for me to be just a good celebrant and to have those skills. I now have to be a social media manager, a marketing manager, a bookkeeper,” she added.
“I had some personal tragedy in my life that was impacting my ability to get up every day and go to work. What I wanted was some resources that I could access online.”
Everymind is a leading national institute dedicated to the prevention of mental ill-health and suicide, and developed the Ahead for Business website and app.
Program manager at Everymind Marc Bryant said the organisation recognised the need for an online mental health support tool specifically designed for small business.
“Small business owners and sole traders have unique challenges in mental health and supporting them to navigate these stressors is a key focus of our [online] mental health initiative, Ahead for Business,” Marc said.
Julie found the information available on the website invaluable. It includes first-hand information from small business owners like herself, who share their experiences and the strategies they use to stay healthy and productive.
“The mental health check-up is a great practical tool and I really enjoyed the podcasts on a range of topics. All of the tools can be accessed from wherever I am, which is really important in my business,” she said.
“Probably my favourite tool on the website is the business mental health plan. It’s made me feel really empowered, and it makes me feel really good knowing that I’ve thought about all these things and I have a plan in place for when I need it.
“I’ve realised that actually what I need to do is put myself first. Then I can be more productive and more creative in my business.”