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As small business, self-employed people, let’s be alert to our mental health

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

It’s World Mental Health Day. As small businessperson we’re often asked to have concern for the mental health of our employees (if we have any)! But what about our own mental health?

Mental health problems can happen to anyone. Here’s the story of high-profile media personality Osher Gunsberg, host of The Bachelor. He was out jogging and started hallucinating that the world was ending. He sought help.

When we work on our own it can be isolating. And if you run a small business with even just a few employees, the pressures can make you feel isolated. Financial problems can create emotional and mental problems. At one stage in my business life I tickled the edge of bankruptcy. Did I get emotionally ‘down’? You betcha!

The message today for us self-employed, small business people is: be alert to and don’t ignore our own mental health issues. It makes common sense. We can work these things through. There’s always light after dark, even if it’s hard sometimes to see the light! There is help.
  • The Victorian Small Business Commissioner has some good information on small business mental health issues and support. Check it out here.
  • And yes, even though we heavily criticize the Australian Taxation Office over much of its treatment of small business people, it is alert to your mental health and have support systems in place. That’s good. Check it here.
There are also these well known support services:
  • Lifeline on 13 11 14
  • MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
  • Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
  • Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36
  • Headspace on 1800 650 890
But so we’re not too ‘heavy’ about this, for a quick uplift, I find a short dose of Seinfeld is a good tonic (if you’re a Seinfeld fan!) Watch this YouTube clip. Beware the toothbrush!!
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