Mental health for small business: R U OK?

Two men in a discussion

Small businesses are the backbone of the Australian economy. With more than 2.2 million small businesses in Australia, they play a vital role in keeping our economy moving. So it is important that we shine the light on mental health and ensure that business owners and their teams have the support they need, when they need it.

This September, R U OK? Day is a reminder that on every day of the year we should support people who may be struggling. R U OK? Day provides the opportunity to start a conversation, to check in, connect and listen.

If you’re not feeling ok, you’re definitely not alone in feeling this way. 2020 has been a challenging year for many people, particularly small business owners, who are some of the most hardworking members of our community. As a business owner you deserve to thrive, and above all else, be happy.

Business owners and their teams are stressed

This year has been a rollercoaster of emotions, and not surprisingly, many business owners and their teams are stressed.

With changes in working environments, COVID safe plans to implement, businesses having to close or not having enough work to continue to employ all their team members, stress levels have been at an all time high for many.

Understanding the impact and stress caused since the outbreak of COVID-19, we wanted to reach out and check in. Because those three words - “Are you ok?” really have the power to help another person hang in there and help them navigate through the tough times.

two women in a discussion

Why is it important for business owners to speak up about mental health?

It is important for business owners to speak up about mental health because life knocks us all down at different stages of our life, and we need to break any stigma that is attached to not being ok.

With 2020 bringing some of the biggest challenges to people of our generation, there is an increasing need for more heartfelt conversations. And it all begins with ‘R U OK?’

Speaking up about mental health helps us to understand that:

  • Illness can rob us of confidence and energy
  • Business can make us feel frazzled or inadequate
  • Falling short of our goals can make us feel hopeless
  • Death of loved ones can sap us of energy and hope
  • Relationships breaking up can make us feel confused, sad or angry

Everybody deserves to feel supported and that’s why it’s important to ask the people around you ‘R U OK?’

How a conversation can change a life

A conversation can change a life because it empowers you to more meaningfully connect with those around you. You don't need to be an expert to reach out to someone, you just need to start by asking the question and being a good listener.

how to have an r u ok conversation

Use these four steps and have a conversation that could change a life:

  1. Ask R U OK?
  2. Listen
  3. Encourage action
  4. Check in

Who will you ask ‘R U OK?’

Have you got a feeling that someone you know or care about is not behaving like they normally would? It’s important to trust your gut instinct and act on it.

Who will you ask ‘R U OK?’ It might be your partner, your employees, friends, family, or even your neighbour. And then take the time to consider how you feel right now too. While it’s important to check in with others, you should put your own mental health at the top of your list. If you’re not feeling ok, then it is important to know that there is support available.

Supporting the mental health of you and your team

At Your Business Momentum, we have a responsibility to help business owners like you, throughout Australia to feel supported and live more enjoyable lives. We believe in the small business spirit that moves us to pitch in and support each other - even if it's just with a positive note.

Now more than ever, it is important for us to provide a sense of stability and hope for everyone around us.

"You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." Christopher Robin

We want you to know that you can talk about how you're feeling with us anytime. Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we’ll be in touch.

If you or anyone you know needs help, call:

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