It is important to remember small business owners on World Mental Health Day on 10 October, so the VSBC is highlighting the importance of planning for a mentally healthy small business by launching its Small Business Mental Health Strategic Plan.

Small business owners are often under enormous pressure and mental strain, and that pressure can be exacerbated by the feeling of responsibility towards their staff, as well as a sense of isolation.

The VSBC has developed the Mental Health Strategic Plan to help small business owners incorporate mental health strategies into their business development plans.

Creating a mentally healthy workplace is just as important as marketing or finance, and being proactive about mental health in small business is a great investment for everyone.

If small business owners have contingency plans in place, and later become unwell or need extended time away from their business, these strategies will help ensure the continuing success of their operations.

The Plan covers likely business stressors, how to identity mental health ‘red flags’, action steps to reduce stress, people and resources to call on, a plan if a small business owner is unable to return to work, and a return to work plan.

The development of the Plan follows the launch earlier this year of the VSBC’s  Creating a Mentally Healthy Small Business initiative to help small business operators preserve their mental health while riding the ups and downs that come with establishing and growing a business.

Download the Small Business Mental Health Strategic Plan here.

Whether you are a sole trader or employ staff use this mental health strategic plan and the 2 page template that follows to identify and implement workplace practices that support you on your small business journey.  Or, you can just use the different headings to develop your own template or incorporate the information into your existing Business Plan.

If you are finding it difficult to get started, there is also an example template containing some suggestions of what can be included.

Once you have completed the template, print it off, laminate it and keep it somewhere safe for easy reference. Send a snapshot of it to your phone so you have it as a resource wherever you go.  You could also include it in your Business Plan and discuss it with your business mentor or advisor.

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