Vice President of Swich On Inc Ben Hayward, President Brad Bulow and Treasurer Andrew Coates. Photo: Cordell Richardson
Vice President of Swich On Inc Ben Hayward, President Brad Bulow and Treasurer Andrew Coates. Photo: Cordell Richardson

Mental wellbeing a priority for small businesses in Ipswich

SMALL businesses in Ipswich could soon have access to a dedicated support portal that will aim to improve the mental health and wellbeing of business owners and their staff across the region.

Swich On Inc. is partnering with prominent mental health support and wellbeing provider Mindstar to deliver the free wellbeing program to Ipswich's small and medium-sized enterprises.

Swich On Inc. is an association made up of local businessmen working to raise awareness and funds for men's health issues.

The association's president Brad Bulow said it was the logical next step for the organisation. "Since 2011, Swich On Inc. has grown and assisted many in the community typically around men's health projects and contributing funds to other local causes," he said.

The online portal will connect small business owners and their employees to information on how to establish healthy workplaces, look after yourself and deal with stress in the workplace.

"Health and wellbeing is critical for small and medium business owners; they're employers and drivers of local economic activity and their success ripples throughout the community," Mr Bulow siad.

Both organisations have worked together on various wellbeing initiatives in recent years.

Mindstar CEO and co-founder Aaron Williams said working in small business can be a tough gig.

"Small business owners often don't have the budget to invest in stress, wellbeing and mental health support for themselves or their employees," he said.

"We've successfully rolled out a similar program with partners on the Sunshine Coast and it's making a difference".

The portal includes a workplace wellbeing toolkit designed to proactively manage common workplace stresses and address emerging issues.

Mr Burlow said he hoped members of the community would be keen to get on board.

"What we're hoping to get over time is some ambassadorial support, some corporate support, so we can sort of then also look at funding wellbeing coaches as well, so people who have concerns or need to talk to someone, they can talk to a professional."

Businesses or organisations wanting to support or partner in the program for SME wellness can email to register their interest.