NAB launches mental health program for business owners

by Gerv Tacadena26 Oct 2020

NAB has rolled out a new business resilience program aimed at bolstering the mental wellbeing of small business owners amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The program centres on the creation of NAB Business Fit, an online platform which hosts a range of support resources including virtual workshops, webinars, podcasts, live wellbeing classes, and blog posts covering topics across mental health, physical wellbeing, and leadership.

"When we speak to our customers, they tell us running a small business is an all-encompassing job. Entrepreneurship doesn’t finish at 5 p.m. and in order to be successful, business owners need to invest just as much time in their own wellbeing as they do in their company," said Ana Marinkovic, NAB’s executive for small business.

The program was conceived following the recent NAB Wellbeing survey, which found that more than four in every 10 people working in small businesses are currently feeling "highly anxious".

Further, around 20% of small business owners indicated they are "not coping well", with 33% saying they have been feeling "lonely" of late.

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"We’ve known for some time that small business owners have been under stress. This has been amplified during COVID-19 when many business owners have had to scale back operations or pivot to entirely different business models to keep their business alive," Marinkovic said.

The platform will feature former international cricketer and current Australian Team coach Justin Langer, as well as Australian entrepreneur and author Lisa Messenger, as hosts of the upcoming podcasts.

NAB's new Business Fit complements its other existing measures for business owners affected by the pandemic, including psychological support, financial coaching and free online courses to help clients get their business online.