World Mental Health Day is an opportunity for us to reflect on ourselves, our colleagues and open up the conversation around mental health. Here at Xero, it’s part of our culture to support each other. We have a collective responsibility and this is our opportunity to step up – not to solve the problem, but to help.
2020 has been a year unlike anything we could have imagined or prepared for, and it’s not over yet. As we head into the final few months of the year, it’s important for us all to take stock of our mental health.
Businesses are beginning to understand the importance of mental health and are starting to place more emphasis on employee wellbeing. It’s not only individuals and company culture that benefit from an increased focus on wellbeing, it can also have a direct impact on the bottom line.
“Business is not just about numbers; it’s ultimately about people. We believe in equipping our community to find ways of work that sustains them, whether financially or mentally,” Trent Innes, Managing Director – Australia & Asia
It is estimated that depression and anxiety alone cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion in lost productivity every year, so businesses can’t afford not to have a strong focus on mental health. However, for many small businesses, time and resource constraints can make focusing on mental health and wellbeing a challenge. Many rarely have the support of a dedicated HR department. So what can you do to help support your mental health and that of your employees?
You can start by checking out the following tools and resources available in your region.
Running a business is similar to riding a rollercoaster – there are the highs of starting up to the lows of the often relentless day to day pressures. Even as a trusted advisor to small businesses, you may have become the first line of support for many of your clients this year due to the impact of COVID-19. So, you too might be feeling the strain.
It’s estimated that 45 percent of Australians will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime, with the most common being anxiety and depression. Taking care of your wellbeing is essential for yourself and your team, so we’ve teamed up with Beyond Blue in Australia to create an online training course to help our customers and partners to:
- Recognise the symptoms:
- The physical
- The psychological
- The behavioural
- Learn how to respond:
- Increase awareness
- Start the conversation
- Seek treatment and support early
For more ways to create a culture of wellbeing in your business, Beyond Blue’s dedicated hub, Headsup.org.au, offers a range of information to help you take care of yourself and our team, including:
You can also access Beyond Blue for support, including:
- Immediate support services – online and by phone (1300 224 636)
- Short pieces in the Personal Best section
Xero Assistance Programme (XAP)
New Zealand has critical mental health statistics to address as a country. Too many Kiwis are struggling and often don’t know where or who to turn to. We know there’s a growing need for mental health support in small businesses, with 80 percent of small business owners reporting that isolation is their main concern. We also understand that for many people their workplace can play a central role in building their resilience and positive mental wellbeing.
The Xero Assistance Programme (XAP) has been designed to help support Kiwi small businesses by providing free and confidential wellbeing support. Users have access to face-to-face, telephone, live chat and online counselling, as well as the Benehub and Benestar app, through Xero’s own provider, Benestar.
It is available to all our starter, standard and premium subscribers, their employees, and their families.
For information about how to access XAP, email firstname.lastname@example.org
From our physical and emotional health through to mental and spiritual, wellbeing is a key component of happiness and contentment.
However, it can be hard to know where to start with wellbeing in the workplace. So we’ve created The Check In – an easy five-step series to help small businesses support their team that covers:
- Getting to know your team
- Fostering connections within your team
- Supporting others to look after themselves
- Making it okay to ask for help
- Making a long term commitment to wellbeing
Taking part in The Check In is not only good for your people, it’s also good for your business. For more information, visit xero.com/nz/resources/the-check-in
National CARE Hotline
Our recent Voice of Customer study revealed that growing mental health concerns were amongst the most significant challenges for small businesses in Singapore. During the peak of global pandemic lockdowns, the Singaporean Government set up the National CARE Hotline to provide people with psychological and emotional support. The hotline received over 27,000 calls since it was set up in April.
If you are in need of emotional support and would like to speak with someone, you can call the National CARE Hotline from 8am to midnight, 7 days a week. You can also reach out to the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) or the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS).
Unmind, which was founded by Dr Nick Taylor, Ry Morgan and Steve Peralta, is a platform to help improve mental health in the workplace. The platform provides tools to empower employers and their staff to manage and improve their mental wellbeing.
The app offers useful resources including self-guided programmes, exercises to promote good wellbeing such as mindful meditations, sleeping aids and healthy recipes. The app also provides actionable insights to let you know how your mental health is and personal tips to keep it on track.
Find out more about the Unmind platform and how it works here.
United States and Canada
We have pulled together a number of resources on Xero Central to help you and your team maintain mental health and resilience during these challenging times. You can find tips and courses on creating positive habits, promoting connections and supporting teams remotely. You can also watch videos on building resilience to cope through adversity and manage stress.
With the emotional rollercoaster that has been 2020, it’s important that we continue to manage our energy levels. Stress and negativity can be draining both mentally and physically. We have compiled a number of videos on learning how to increase positive emotions, create human connections online, harness strengths for energy, and how to put it all into practice.
You can also check out the Xero business continuity hub where you will find the latest information, tools and resources on everything from government aid to wellbeing and managing cash flow to help guide you through.
It’s important for us all to take some time today to reflect and mark World Mental Health Day by investing in ourselves and each other. Let us know in the comments below how you plan to invest in your mental wellbeing today.
Mental health is a real and serious issue that we face today. One of the things I love about Xero is not just their product but also the people and the culture! Fantastic article and thank you for sharing!
Hi Isabel – thank you so much for your comment. I’m thrilled to hear that you enjoyed reading this blog post – hopefully you find the resources helpful and that you were able mark World Mental Health Day on Saturday by taking some time to invest in yourself.
This was a really informative article. Maintaining a balanced mood and emotion is very important. I found your discussion very practical. Thanks for sharing the facts with us.
Thanks so much for your comment – I’m so pleased to hear that you enjoyed our article about investing in yourself and your team – so important, especially at the moment.