An Australian first for businesses on the Sunshine Coast this week, as the area’s local council moves ahead with a dedicated wellbeing program designed to help tackle poor SME mental health outcomes.
Launched on Tuesday by the Sunshine Coast Council, the B-Well and Prosper program is an online portal aimed at connecting small business owners and their workers with better information about looking after themselves and dealing with stress, including financial problems.
Mental health and wellbeing is a longstanding issue in the SME community, with data indicating business owners often burn the candle at both ends to keep the doors open, behaviour which also leads to bad outcomes for workers.
The free portal details personal stories from small business owners providing advice about how they’ve dealt with mental health challenges, alongside free online tools which will enable people to access referral services and other support programs.
The service has been launched in partnership with local startup Mindstar, a company which works with companies and governments to implement digital wellbeing platforms.
Councillor Stephen Robinson said the initiative was “an important first step” in helping struggling business owners and their employees.
“Smaller business owners often don’t have the budget to invest in stress, wellbeing and mental health support for themselves or their employees, and can feel like they are doing it all on their own,” he said in a statement circulated Tuesday afternoon.
“This is an important first step to provide support to our local business community and to connect them to further resources if they want to seek additional guidance.”
Local Sunshine Coast business owner Bronwyn Delaivuna was also quoted in the council’s statement, saying she intends to make the platform part of her next business plan.
“I wish there was something like the B-Well and Prosper program in place when I was struggling in my previous business. When I start my next business the B-Well and Prosper portal will be a part of my business plan,” she said.
Originally published via Smart Company.