We deal with many calls in our software company and not all of them software related. One such call we receive is that from the small business owner at their wits end over one aspect of their business or another. In this situation they call about what sounds like a technical issue and their reaction to the advice given sets off a chain of events which leads us to wishing we could offer help from a mental health perspective. Our people can tell from the caller’s sensitivity to simple requests or comments made during the call that things are not right with or for them. But it’s not our place to intervene.

Drought and the economic pressure of the time, particularly for small business, is presenting more people who seem depressed than before. Not that many really but enough for us to want to find out what we can do to help. That took us to Beyond Blue. They have a range of programs and links with other organisations which at least give us a starting point. Our goal is to be more aware of how to best handle people venting to us about unrelated matters and at the Beyond Blue website we started that journey.

At the other end we plan to take the matter up, in general terms, with suppliers whose behaviour fans the problem. In some small business channels business is considerably tougher today than any time before. Everyone is out to protect the bucks they make. Unfortunately, suppliers are in the box seat and sometimes their harsh actions against a small business owner can come at a most unhelpful time.

I’ve rambled off topic a bit. My key point is that small business owners often do it tough. In Beyond Blue we’ve found an organisation which can help navigate some of the challenges which result from tough time.

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