Small business and mental health: A rural NSW perspective

Small business and mental health: A rural NSW perspective Report

  • Author(s): Gottschall, K, Dalton, H
  • Published: 2020
  • Publisher: Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health

Abstract: Small businesses account for almost 98% of all actively trading NSW businesses (NSW Government, 2019), with 30% of those being located in regional NSW1. 72% of small businesses owners are aged over 40 years (NSW Government, 2019). 67% of small business owners are male (NSW Government, 2019). What this might mean for mental health and wellbeing withinsmall business is largely an unknown factor given thatresearch and programs specifically targeted towards small business mental health are limited. There is even less research and programs looking specifically to rural, regional and remote contexts2.There are a range of mental health risk factors that may be unique to those who own or work in small business including (but not limited to): financial pressures, high work demands, long work hours, market variability, and a lack of focus on self-care and work-life boundaries (Black Dog Institute & Everymind, 2019). In rural settings, these stressors can be compounded by issues of drought, bush fire, floods, and other adversities, in addition to everyday rural realities that may include economic downturn, corporatisation, 'boom and bust' variables, small town decline, aging populations, wealth disparities within a given community, climate change and dependence on local natural and social environments (see Austin et al, 2019; Irwin, 2019).

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Suggested Citation
Gottschall, K, Dalton, H, 2020, Small business and mental health: A rural NSW perspective, Report, viewed 06 December 2023,

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