30 May 2024

The Government has allocated $7.7 million over two years from 2024-25 to sustain mental health support through the NewAccess for Small Business Owners program, alongside an additional $3.1 million investment over the same period to extend assistance via the Small Business Debt Helpline. NewAccess for Small Business Owners, administered by Beyond Blue, offers confidential one-on-one mental health coaching sessions to small business owners, facilitated by coaches with backgrounds in small business, and accessible without a GP referral or treatment plan.

Through the NewAccess program, small business owners can receive up to six structured telehealth sessions with trained mental health coaches, tailored to address their unique challenges. Similarly, the Small Business Debt Helpline, provided by Financial Counselling Australia, offers free and confidential phone-based financial counseling to small business owners nationwide, irrespective of the source of their financial distress. Beyond Blue's CEO underscores the effectiveness of the NewAccess program, with seven out of ten participants experiencing recovery from early symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Minister for Small Business, Julie Collins, emphasizes the significance of these initiatives within the broader context of the Government's Small Business Statement, which earmarks over $640 million in targeted support for small businesses. Collins highlights the invaluable nature of the NewAccess program, as participants commend the ability to access support free of charge. These measures reflect the Government's commitment to addressing the mental health and financial well-being of small business owners, acknowledging the pivotal role they play in the economy.

More information about the NewAccess for Small Business Owners program is available by calling 1300 945 301 or on the Beyond Blue website.