Beyond Blue and eftpos have struck a multi-year partnership to support small business operators seeking mental health care.
The $200,000 in funding, contributed by eftpos, will allow Beyond Blue to strengthen its programs and complement its newly launched NewAccess for small business owners — a free and confidential mental health coaching program for anyone feeling stressed or overwhelmed about everyday life issues, such as work, study, relationships, health or loneliness.
The partnership will also enable easier access to the Beyond Blue Support Service with particular attention to the issues facing young Australians and small businesses.
Stephen Benton, CEO of eftpos, noted that the partnership seemed like a natural fit for the two organisations, given the particular stressors placed on Australians as they struggle with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With disruptions to the ways we live, learn and work, we have limited access to the usual supports and coping mechanisms that help keep us well. This comes at a time where many in our community, including young people and small business owners, are also experiencing financial pressures which we know are closely tied to mental health,” Mr Benton said.
“By contributing to and supporting Beyond Blue’s Support Service, it is our hope we can make a difference to the lives of people in Australia, especially in these challenging times.”
With two-thirds of small business owners stating that the pandemic has negatively impacted their mental health, a figure that has doubled since the pandemic began, Beyond Blue has been working to understand and address the unique worries facing small business leaders.
“Along with the eftpos partnership funds going to the Beyond Blue Support Service, we’re also encouraging small business owners to find out more about Beyond Blue’s NewAccess for Small Business Owners, a program supported by trained mental health coaches who have a background in small business,” Mr Benton said.
Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman noted the funding came at a critical moment.
“eftpos’ support is vital, especially at a time when millions of people are experiencing the effects of the pandemic, including the impact on many people’s financial wellbeing,” Ms Harman said.
“Contacts to Beyond Blue’s support services are up 30 per cent on pre-pandemic levels, so we are extremely grateful to eftpos for supporting us so we can keep answering every call and online chat.”