Key Dates

22 December 2020 - Launch Deadline
25 February - Standard Deadline
4 May - Final Deadline
6 May - Judging
20 May - Winners Announced
1 July - Awards Presentation

Image Credit : BeyondBlue




Project Overview

NewAccess for Small Business Owners is a free and confidential mental health program, developed by Beyond Blue to give small business owners the support they need.

Project Commissioner

Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources and Richmond Fellowship Queensland

Project Creator

Beyond Blue and the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO)

Project Brief

Running a small business is a unique experience which can involve stress and pressure coming from many directions. If left unaddressed, these demands can sometimes place you at risk of severe or longer-lasting mental health challenges.

We understand you may feel obliged to work when unwell, take work home or find it difficult to justify allocating time for yourself, let alone for your mental health. And there are always many barriers that can make seeking help difficult, such as:

- stigma
- cost
- lack of time
- limited availability of services during business hours and in convenient locations, and prioritisation of business over self.

Understandably, a lot of small business owners are reporting that COVID-19 has negatively affected their mental health.

To address this need, Beyond Blue’s NewAccess for Small Business Owners program aims to provide a much needed and practical support option for you.

Over six sessions, coaches with a small business background will work with you to overcome difficult issues, providing you with practical skills to manage stress and get you back to feeling like yourself.

At your first appointment your coach, who has a small business background like you, will complete an initial assessment with you, and develop a program tailored to your individual needs.

NewAccess for Small Business Owners is available nationally by phone or video call.

Project Innovation/Need

A free and confidential mental health coaching program, developed by Beyond Blue.
Designed to support small business owners like you, manage life pressures so you can move forward.
The structured six session program will give you practical tools. You'll work with a coach who will guide you through a tailored, personal program.
No doctor’s referral or mental health treatment plan required - so you don't have to visit a doctor first.

NewAccess for Small Business Owners uses Low-intensity Cognitive Based Therapy (LiCBT) to recognise the way we think, act and feel. You will have a Coach to help you tackle unhelpful thoughts and behaviours, using an individual plan that you develop together.

Future Impact

NewAccess has been operating for several years in Australia, starting with a pilot phase in 2013-2016. Independent research and evaluations have confirmed its efficacy and ability to be scaled as a low intensity early intervention service.

Based on the UKs Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) model, the NewAccess model is adaptable for particular settings and populations. Evidence tells us the NewAccess program is effective. The average recovery rate for general population services is 70 per cent. The Comcare workplace pilot, which supported participants to deal with common issues like work-related stress, achieved a recovery rate of 78 per cent.

Importantly, NewAccess is designed to appeal to people who might not otherwise seek support for their mental health and to provide support early, preventing symptoms from potentially getting worse.

The program avoids clinical language, does not require a doctor’s referral and is delivered by relatable coaches – in this case people who have owned their own small business – making it an ideal service for small business owners.

This award celebrates creative and innovative solution design for the successful delivery and provision of community services. Consideration given to system integration, user experience, product design 

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