Supporting the mental health of your team on a budget


As a small-business owner, you inevitably wear many hats – you’re the entrepreneur, HR manager, bookkeeper, head of operations and marketing. With the recent pandemic, there is now a greater expectation for employers to also provide a level of care or support for the mental health of their staff.

With strong links existing between mental health and employee performance, it is essential and beneficial as a business owner to support your team. But how can you support the mental health of your employees without spending a small fortune on team bonding and mental health services?

When your days are already full and cashflow needs to be considered, you will have to find some budget-friendly and time-efficient options to support your staff. Here are some suggestions to get you started.

Start the conversation

A simple way of supporting your employees is by opening up conversations about mental health with your team. When you talk about mental health in an open, honest and understanding way, it can normalise mental health issues and reduce the stigma surrounding it. Those suffering feel like they will be more supported in their workplace and be more confident in seeking help for any issues they may be experiencing.

Provide access to psychology services

Now your budget might not stretch to providing private or complimentary psychology sessions, however, you can provide mental health hotline brochures or a list of resources that they can access for free. Speak to your local GP (they likely have flyers in the foyer) about how people can access a number of free psychology sessions with a doctor’s referral.

It’s okay to keep things light

Supporting your team’s wellbeing doesn’t have to involve closed-door meetings and serious conversations. Start simple by having a set coffee catch-up each week, a “tools-down” lunch break where everyone takes time away from the desk and perhaps even takes a walk around the block. Creating a connection between staff and showing that you prioritize their health and wellbeing is what’s important.

A healthy morning tea provided by rotating staff members encourages your team to talk about healthy choices, creates a time and space for your team to connect and can boost staff morale with little to no cost to the business.

Say thank you!

It costs nothing but can mean so much. Some simple words of appreciation for a job well done can improve an employee’s mood, job satisfaction levels and loyalty to the business.

The aim is to create a more accepting and understanding work environment, how you approach mental health topics for your team is up to you. What’s most important is that you just get started.